Topics for Further Study

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The Caretaker has often been compared to Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot. Compare Beckett's play to Pinter's. How do the tramps Vladimir and Estragon compare to Davies? What are the thematic similarities and differences between the two plays?

Research the historical treatment of the mentally ill, considering especially societal attitudes, and compare past times with the present. Discuss Aston's treatment and Davies's reaction in terms of the history of the treatment of mental illness.

None of the women mentioned in The Caretaker appear onstage, and the audience only knows of them through what other characters say. What attitudes toward women are reflected in the characters' dialogue? What is the effect of having none of the women onstage?

Compare the characters and situations of Pinter's The Birthday Party to those in The Caretaker. How are the two plays alike? How are they different?

Discuss The Caretaker as a comedy. What are the comic elements of the play? What is the effect of Pinter's use of comedy on the plays' ending?

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