What is the important theme in "The Room" by Harold Pinter?

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currerbell | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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The primary theme in Pinter's "The Room" is alienation. The atmosphere is menacing, the players all feel at risk and insecure. Pinter explained the alienation theme in an interview: 

Two people in a room. I am dealing a great deal of the time with this image of two people in a room. The curtain goes up on stage and I see it as a very potent question: What is going on between two people in the room? Is someone going to open the door and come in? ---obviously they are scared of what is outside the room. Outside the room there is a world bearing upon them which is frightening. I am sure it is frightening to you and me as well."

The tension is intensified by the juxtaposition of security vs. insecurity. The room itself is safe and secure; but outside, the unknown lurks, a void to be feared. The occupants are unaware of some very basic information that makes them wary of what lies beyond the seemingly-solid walls. For example, they do not know what floor the room is on and or even how many floors are in the house. They are alienated completely from everything beyond the room. 


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