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Various Interpretations of “The Birthday Party”

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Various Interpretations of “The Birthday Party” by Harold Pinter. He is a Nobel Prize winner.

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Various Interpretations of “The Birthday Party”

  1. 1. Various interpretations of “The Birthday Party” Paper - 9 The Modernist Literature. Kaushal Desai kaushaldesai123@gmail.com PG Enrollment No: BU13141001177 MA Sem.: 3 Roll No: 12 Department of English Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University October 01,2014
  2. 2. Absurd Play ♦ It means the expression in art of the meaninglessness of human existence. ♦ The Birthday Party is full of disjointed information that defies efforts to distinguish between reality and illusion.
  3. 3. The Play as Comedy of Menace ♦ The menace evolves from actual violence in the play or from an underlying sense of violence throughout the play. ♦ It may develop from a feeling of uncertainty and insecurity. The audience may be made to feel that the security of the principal character, and even the audience’s own security, is threatened by some impending danger/fear. ♦ This feeling of menace establishes a strong connection between character’s predicament and audience’s personal anxieties.
  4. 4. ‘There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.’ ~ Harold Pinter
  5. 5. "Pinteresque" ♦ Susan Harris Smith observes: "The term 'Pinteresque' has had an established place in the English language for almost thirty years. ♦ "Resembling or characteristic of his plays… Pinter's plays are typically characterized by implications of threat and strong feeling produced through colloquial language, apparent triviality, and long pauses."
  6. 6. Point of Views ♦ It is a deeply political play about the individual's imperative need for resistance ♦ according to Billington, Though he "doubts whether this was conscious on Pinter's part," it is also "a private, obsessive work about time past; about some vanished world, either real or idealised, into which all but one of the characters readily escapes.. From the very outset, the defining quality of a Pinter play is not so much fear and menace though they are undoubtedly present as a yearning for some lost Eden as a refuge from the uncertain, miasmic present"
  7. 7. Pinter’s Characters ♦ In The Angry Theatre John Russell Taylor writes: "The ambiguity…not only creates an unnerving atmosphere of doubt and uncertainty, but also helps to generalize and universalize the fears and tensions to which Pinter's characters are subject.“ ♦ The aim of presenting conventional, typical characters lies in the fact that Pinter wants the audience to be misled into believing that the play is realistic so that when the characters start reacting unexpectedly the impact is greater.
  8. 8. ♦ As quoted by Arnold P. Hinchliffe, Polish critic Grzegorz Sinko points out that in The Birthday Party we see the destruction of the victim from the victim's own point of view: "One feels like saying that the two executioners, Goldberg and McCann, stand for all the principles of the state and social conformism. Goldberg refers to his 'job' in a typically Kafkaesque official language which deprives the crimes of all sense and reality." ... [Of Stanley's removal, Sinko adds:] "Maybe Stanley will meet his death there or maybe he will only receive a conformist brainwashing after which he is promised ... many other gifts of civilization...."[20]
  9. 9. The Birthday Party (play). <http://wikipedia.org/wiki/TheBirthdayParty(Play)>.
  10. 10. Conclusion ♀ Harold Pinter’s play is a unbounded by many facts. Any sort of single interpretation of Pinter’s play is not possible. He show us in the play blindness, Society’s treatment of an artist and Growing up to adulthood from childhood. One can think of nothingness in every single possibilities. Pinter in his speech at the time of Noble Prize: “I have often been asked how my plays come about. I cannot say. Nor can I ever sum up my plays, except to say that this is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did.”
  11. 11. Thank You… http://www.slideshare.net/kaushal111 http://desaikaushal1315.blogspot.com

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