Please summarize and analyze "Mountain Language" by Harold Pinter.

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kc4u's profile pic

kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Mountain Language is a play about linguistic suppression. Though Pinter wrote this play keeping in mind the specific suppression of Kurdish language in Turkey, it is a more universal play than that. Located in an unspecified prison of a capital, where speaking the mountain language is forbidden, this 20minute play shows two kinds of resistance to a barbaric politicization of language through the two female protagonists. The mother who comes to visit her convicted son and keeps getting abused for using mountain language inside decides not to speak her own language when at a later date the guard says that there is a change in the rules whereby she is now allowed to speak her own language. Here, the silence of the mother becomes an ethic of resistance to the ironic notion of linguistic freedom, which can only come from within the political power structure.

On the other hand, Sara Johnson, the wife of a convict comes into the prison to visit her husband and what she faces in the house is nothing but horror and sexual exploitation. The collapse of the 'hooded man', the confusion over the right chamber, the behaviour of the dog and finally the sexual pleasure she is bound to provide to the prison-people in order to do something for her husband all speak volumes of Pinter's vision.


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mamalion14 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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Monks, (anyone) not knowing, not seeing eyes as it really is, not knowing, not seeing material shapes... visual consciousness... impact on the eye as it really is, and not knowing, not seeing as it really is the feeling, whether pleasant, painful or neither  nor pleasant, that arises conditioned by impact on the eye, is attached to the eye, is attached to material shapes, is attached to visual consciousness, is attached to impact on the eye; and as for that feeling, whether pleasant, painful or neither painful nor pleasant, that arises conditioned by impact on the eye- to that too is he attached.

While he,k observing the satisfaction, is attached, bound and infatuated, the five khandhas of grasping go on to future accumulation.  And his craving, which is connected with again-becoming, accompanied by attachment and delight, finding its pleasure here and there, increases in him.  And his physical anxieties increase,k and mental anxieties increase, and physical torments increase, and mental torments increase, and physical fevers increase, and mental fevers increase.  He experiences anguish of body and anguish of mind.

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