Why is the action situated in the kitchen in Harold Pinter's Landscape?

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lprono | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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As other Pinter's plays, Landscape (1967) is about the lack of communication and interaction. In this particular case, a married couple experiences this emotional void. The kitchen setting implies a domesticity and intimacy that the two characters no longer share and thus contrasts with their attitudes towards each other, increasing the sense of solitude and alienation. They are in the same room physically (although the long table seems to further divide the room into two parts), but not emotionally. The furniture in the room is kept to a minimum (a long table, a chair and an armchair) and the light does not show much of the rest of the kitchen. Such barren setting is typical of the theatre of the absurd.

A psychoanalytic interpretation (see first link below) sees the chair and the armchair as a psychologist's couch on which the two characters alternatively give vent to their frustrations, guilt and hidden desires. This interpretation is supported also by the characters' behavior which seems in a state of hypnotic trance. In this view, the room comes to represent the different layers of memories which surround our existence.

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