The Homecoming Questions and Answers
by Harold Pinter

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What are the issues of misogyny and gender in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming?

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Harold Pinter’s play The Homecoming has been the subject of considerable and sometimes heated debate since its London premier in 1965.  The story of a household of men dealing with the sudden, unannounced arrival of an attractive 30-year-old woman, apparently the wife of one of the brothers of the house who has been living abroad in the United States, and their attempts at manipulating the new development for their personal benefit has been accused of having a misogynistic tone insofar as the family patriarch, Max, and his sons, Lenny and Joey, scheme to seduce the woman, Ruth, and to parlay her sexuality and apparent promiscuousness to their financial advantage. 

A family of adult men living without the moderating influence of a woman, Max’s wife, Jessie, having apparently died, is prime territory for routine displays of machismo and derogatory references to the opposite gender.  Their name-calling directed against each other, including “slag” and “bitch,” serve to...

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