Waiting for Godot, a 1955 play by Samuel Beckett, is often compared to The Caretaker and generally recognized—as many of Beckett's plays are— as a major influence on Pinter's style.
Look Back in Anger, a 1956 play by John Osborne, is often cited as a turning point in modern British drama, the first play of the so-called ‘‘Angry Young Men’’ theatre movement. The play focuses on the struggle of a young couple, the unemployed Jimmy Porter and the wife he abuses.
The Birthday Party, a 1958 play by Pinter, concerns Stanley, the only lodger in a dilapidated boarding house, who is terrorized by two mysterious men who arrive looking for him. Although this play originally received negative reviews, it is now regarded as one of Pinter's most important works.
Old Times, a 1971 play by Pinter, focuses on a married couple, Deeley and Kate, who are visited by Kate's old friend Anna. The play centers on a power struggle between Deeley and Anna, each of whom wants to prove his or her possession of Kate.
The Bell Jar (1963), an autobiographical novel by American poet Sylvia Plath, chronicles Plath's experience with mental illness in the early-1950s. The novel records one person's experience with mental health care and electroshock treatment in that time period.