Textual Analysis of The Dumb Waiter - Harold Pinter


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Textual Analysis of The Dumb Waiter, Symbols of it, Pinter's language, Theatre of The Absurd, The similarities between The Dumb Waiter and Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett.

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Textual Analysis of The Dumb Waiter - Harold Pinter

  1. 1. Themes, Symbols, Images…
  2. 2.  Dumb waiter is a small lift for carrying things, especially food, between the floors of a building.  In The Dumb Waiter, the dumb-waiter symbolizes a disconnection in human communication.
  3. 3.  Whenever Gus tries to bring up something emotional, Ben refuses to speak with him.  This disconnection is the essence of their relationship.  They do not speak with, but to each other. They are like the dumb waiter—mute carriers of information, not sharers of it.
  4. 4. DEATH the rightt side> exit BIRTH the left side > food comes in and goes out
  5. 5. The basement room suggests human existence lived mostly without understanding but under pressure, especially when the orders come down from above.
  6. 6.  Pi nt er 's l anguage, usual l y l ow -cl ass er ver nacul ar (t he l anguage or di al ect spoken by  Pi nt er has spoken t he or di nar y peopl e of a count r y), has been m uch on t he subj ect , descr i bed as poet i c. and has cat egor i zed  H s com essed, r hyt hm c i pr i l i nes r el y heavi l y on subt ext and hi nt at dar ker m eani ngs. speech as t hat w ch hi at t em s t o cover t he pt nakedness of si l ence.
  7. 7.  Theatre of the Absurd is a French dramatic movement in the 1950s.  It is express the belief that human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down.  The Absurd in these plays takes the form of man’s reaction to a world apparently without meaning, and man as a puppet controlled or menaced by invisible outside forces.
  8. 8.  As with Godot, there are two characters, one dominant, one submissive.  In Godot, the two men wait • It is clear that Pinter was heavily influenced by Samuel Beckett.  The similarities between them are obvious. The Dumb Waiter is quite similar to Waiting for Godot. around for a man named Godot who never arrives, yet who exercises great power over them.  In The Dumb Waiter, Ben and Gus are at the back and call of Wilson, a mysterious character who dominates the duo even when he's not around, or perhaps especially when he's not around.
  9. 9.  Whereas Beckett's silences hint at alienation, boredom, and the slow approach to death, Pinter's are ominous and violent. The true natures and motivations of his characters emerge in their silences.