From where can I get material on the topic problem of communication in the plays of Harold Pinter?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One play by playwright Harold Pinter that has been studied in relation to themes of communication is' Family Voices.' Family Voices is actually a radio play. In the story we hear a young man talking and his voice is interspersed with that of a woman - ostensibly his mother's. Each has has around a dozen speeches, and a man's voice enters at the end with only a couple - ostensibly the father.They seem to be having difficulty communicating as a family, although some critics have said that just focusing on the one theme of communication is too simplistic with Pinter.Each character speaks but do any of them hear? Each expresses love and wishing for love, but also hostile emotions. Every character covers their true self at times and uses euphemistic language to hide true feelings. Further material can be gained from the study of language and communication in 'The Birthday Party' and in his life and works:

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that there can be much to be found on the nature of communication in Pinter's plays.  Much of what Pinter focuses upon is challenging conditions within and to the issue of human communication.  Consider the "Pinter Pause," as a moment where communication is stalled and struggles to restart.  The plays of Pinter usually involve some level of challenging elements of communication within characters.  Conducting academic research on this might be able to bring much in the way of findings because of its prominence in his plays.  At the same time, this might be an issue where research, while helpful, might be secondary to one's own analysis.  Finding a particular play or work and analyzing the challenging conditions of how individuals interact or feature obstacles to pure communication might be an issue that can be analyzed and asserted based on one's own thought and perceptions.

kc4u | Student

The problem of communication or more radically put, the lack of communication is a recurrent fascination with Pinter and the contours of this thematic facilitates his anti-realistic or what is simplistically called his absurdist stance.

The element runs across his canon. Meg and Petey (Birthday Party) facing each other on the dining table with the newspaper as an obstruction to their communication is a classic image of it. Stanley's speech degenerating into sounds is yet another striking example.

Non-communication as in The Caretaker often leads to menacing ambivalence and a toppling of power equations in Pinter's work. In plays like Landscape, Silence and Night Pinter explores a dialogic structure where a complex cross-talk and constant mirroring of all the speeches of the different characters constantly collapse it into a monologue where there is no self-communication either.

The political implications of non-communication is apparent in the late-plays. In Montain Language, silence as a product of non-communication is seen as a strange power whereas the loss of memory in A Kind of Alaska is taken advantage of in conspiratorial ways. In One for the Road or Ashes to Ashes, there is a counter-pattern in so far as it is used to sustain the dominant discourse in a way of seeming.