What dialects do each of the three characters in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker use?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Harold Pinter's The Caretaker is a play that achieved great success when it opened in the 1960s. The play is set in West London, and the action takes place in one room. This room is full of junk, has a leaky roof, and has a sack up at the window. The room is in a building owned by Mick. Mick lives there with his older brother Aston. Aston has invited Mac Davies, a homeless man, to live with them after saving him from a street fight.

All three characters speak with a London accent, but Mick and Aston sound well-educated whilst Mac Davies speaks with a working-class London dialect. Aston received electro-shock therapy when he was younger, which has left him with permanent brain damage. Despite seeming better-educated than Mick, he is less confident with his speech.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Caretaker takes place in West London and has three characters. These characters include two brothers, Mick and Ashton, and a homeless man named Mac Davies.

Mick owns the room and the building that the action takes place in and, as his brother's caretaker, seems educated and fairly well-off. As such, he speaks in a middle-class English accent. Occasionally, he will use some London colloquialisms. For example, he says, "Now don't get perky, son, don't get perky." For the most part, however, he doesn't use these kinds of phrases. His brother Ashton's dialect is very similar.

Mac Davies, however, speaks with more of a working-class dialect. For example, he generally uses the more regional "ain't" instead of "I haven't." Often, his sentences contain rhetorical questions and working-class speech patterns.

Nevertheless, all three characters speak in London dialects.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Aston, Davies, and Mick do not use any specific "dialect," unless you mean the slang of working-class London. From his speech, you may guess that Aston is a bit better-educated, but clearly Mick is the more verbose and cleverer. Davis speech remains comparatively primitive.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial