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The Caretaker

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by

Andres Hernandez

on 26 November 2014

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Transcript of The Caretaker

Harold Pinter
THE CARETAKER
BY: Harold Pinter

Activist, Screenwriter, Poet, Playwright
He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005.
Born in London, son of a tailor and a housewife; he grew up in a middle-class neighborhood. In his early days he was a keen cricket player, acted in the school and also wrote poetry; he refused to attend the National Service and was fined for that.
1930-2008
During the world war II he saw the bombing of his city by the Germans and was sent away to escape the Blitz. He worked in a local theater and in 1956 he married Vivien Merchant having a son, Daniel. with "The Caretaker" Pinter had his first taste of succes, before "The Homecoming" in 1965 and considered as his masterwork, later in 1978 he presented "The Betrayal" and in 1988 "the Mountain Language".
Known for his terse dialogue and
meaningful pauses.
Pinter's play
"The Caretaker"
was classified in the theater of
the absurd.
Theater of the Absurd
The Theater of the Absurd is a designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction written in 1950's and 1960's. It was characterized by expressing what happens when human existence has no meaning or purpose and therefore all communication breaks down; shows the human solitude; and a growing racism and rejection for the others; also there is a lack of a dramatic plot, and some critics compare those plays with a tragicomedy: "nothing is funnier than unhappiness".
Existentialism
The existentialism is a philosophy which emphasizes individual existence, freedom, and choice.
Its main themes are pessimism, anguish, despair, and non sense; each individual is responsible for giving meaning to life and living it. "Existence precedes essence".
That feeling of individuality was generated by the emptiness and despair left by the war.
Main existentialist exponents: Jean Paul Sartre, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, Gabriel Marcel, and Albert Kaufman: "Existentialism as a movement is used to describe those who refuse to belong to any school of thought, repudiating of the adequacy of any body of beliefs or systems, claiming them to be superficial, academic and remote from life".
Historical Context
At the end of the war, there were millions of homeless people due to the economical collapse of Europe; the arise of United States and the Soviet Union as the superpowers generated the cold war, a state of tension between the capitalist power and the Marxist-Leninist state.

The English economic was not different from Europe, Unemployment reached 2.3 million, after the war more than a quarter of the national wealth had been spent and for the first time since the 18th century became a debtor nation, gradually Britain’s economy recovered. After 1948 the United Kingdom took advantage of the Marshall Plan.

George VI died on Feb. 6, 1952, and was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II; the 60's were denominated the swinging 60's due to the economical recovery of the country and the raising of new cultures.
Quotes from the original text.
“All them Greeks had it, Poles, Greeks, Blacks, the lot of them, all them aliens had it...And they had me working there...” Davies
“You see? They prove who I am! I can't move without them papers! They tell you who I am!” Davies
“I mean, we don't have any conversation, you see? You can't live in the same room with someone who...who don't have any conversation with you.” Davies
Full transcript