Truth, Lies, and Fantasy
In The Caretaker none of the characters can be trusted to speak the truth. All are, to some extent, deceptive, twisting reality in order to manipulate one another and to delude themselves. The character who is the most deceptive is probably Davies. From the beginning, it is clear that he is a liar, first attempting to win Aston's respect by pretending to a past that rings false. ‘‘I've had dinner with the best,'' he says. He also calls everything he says into question when he admits to having used a false name; the audience cannot even be sure that his true name is Davies. Davies's talk of the future is also filled with lies and fantasy and serves two purposes—to manipulate Aston and Mick and to bolster his own self esteem. He speaks of getting even with the man whom he says attacked him:"One night I' ll get him. When I find myself in that direction.''
Davies also tells Aston and Mick that he will go to Sidcup to get his papers. He talks throughout the play of his supposed plans to go to Sidcup, plans he will act on if he acquires shoes, if the weather gets better, plans that the audience soon realizes will never materialize. By his insistence that he is not merely a tramp, that he has a grand past and will support himself in the future, Davies manipulates Aston into continuing to let him stay in the room.
Mick and Aston are not obvious liars like Davies, but the truth of what they say is also...
(The entire section is 1310 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of The Caretaker Themes. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!