Harold Pinter Drama Analysis
Harold Pinter is sometimes associated with the generation of British playwrights who emerged in the 1950’s and are known as the Angry Young Men . His first plays, with their dingy, working-class settings and surface naturalism, seemed to link Pinter with this group, but only the surface of his plays is naturalistic; most of a Pinter play takes place beneath the surface. His closest affinities are with a more centrally important movement, the Theater of the Absurd . As a young man, before he started writing plays, the works of Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett made a great impression on Pinter. Like Kafka, Pinter portrays the absurdity of human existence with a loving attention to detail that creates the deceptive naturalism of his surfaces. It is particularly with the meticulously rendered, tape-recorder-accurate language of his characters that Pinter pulls the naturalistic and absurdist strands of his drama all together. The language of his characters, bumbling, repetitive, circular, is actually more realistic—more like actual human speech—than the precise and rhetorically patterned dialogue found in what is considered to be “realistic” drama. Yet that actual language of human beings, when isolated on the stage, underlines the absurdity of human aspirations and becomes both wonderfully comic and pathetic as it marks the stages of human beings’ inability to communicate what is most important to them. Pinter, however, is more than an accurate recorder of...
(The entire section is 5252 words.)
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