Verbal and non- verbal linguistic devices in Pinter’s ‘ The Birthday Party’.
Topic : Verbal and non- verbal linguistic
devices in Pinter’s ‘ The Birthday Party’.
Name : Kinjal Patel
Paper Name: The Modernist Literature
Paper No: 9
Sem : 3
Roll No: 14
Submitted to: Department of English
Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar
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• Harold Pinter was born in
1930 and died in 2008.
• He was a Nobel Prize winning
English playwright, screen
writer, director and actor.
• He was one of the most
influential modern British
dramatist who wrote for
round about 50 years.
His well known works
• The Birthday Party
( 1957 )
• The Homecoming (
• Betrayal (1978 )
• “Drama is about conflict and
degrees of perturbation
disarray, I’ve never been able
to write a happy play”.
The Birthday Party
• Second Full length
• Most frequently
• About Stanley
Language in The Birthday
• Use of structural
• Lexical items
• Simple dialogues
• Oral language
• Non verbal device
The device of repetition in the
• For instance, at the beginning
of The Birthday Party, Meg,
having served Petey his
• “ Are they nice”? Petey
replies: “ Very nice.” Meg then
says: “ I thought they’d be
The play shifts from
casualness towards absurdity
• “ Meg: (…) What
are you reading?
Cohesion and coherence
• Here there is a lack of cohesion and
coherence. Now let’s see the
conversation where McCann and
Goldberg cross examine Stanley so that
he should collapse.
• Conversation creates
uncertainty and tension
Organize a party
• Meg tells Goldberg and McCann that
she is going to organize party for
Stanley’s birthday where Stanley
denies his birthday.
Use of pauses and silences
• To give a character time to think before
• To avoid conversation
• To show extreme emotional strain
• As an answer to rhetorical question
• To see the effect of what is said.
• “ There are places in my heart… where no
living soul… has… or can ever … trespass.”
• Communication but weapon
• Silence of fear
• Fear of intimacy
• “Pinter’s dialogue is as tightly perhaps
more tightly controlled than verse.”
• “ Every syllabus,
the succession of
long and short
sounds, words and
• There is more to Pinter’s language than
merely accurate observation.
• In fact what sounds like tape-recorded
speech is highly stylized, even artificial.
• Pinter’s dialogue is tightly controlled.
Every syllabus, every inflection, the
succession of long and short sounds,
words, and sentences are calculated to
• Pinter used language in a dramatic way
as a vehicle and instrument of dramatic