Harold Pinter - The Dumb Waiter: Key Themes

Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

University Undergraduate Level 2 English Literature (Harold Pinter) Mind Map on Harold Pinter - The Dumb Waiter: Key Themes, created by andrewmanzi on 04/27/2014.

Created by andrewmanzi over 5 years ago
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Harold Pinter - The Dumb Waiter: Key Themes
1 Silence
1.1 Influenced by Samuel Beckett
1.2 Silence filled pauses for theatrical affect
1.2.1 Speech: a stratagem used to cover the nakedness of silence
1.2.2 Tension: - the long silence at the end of the play Allows the audience to process
1.4 Lack of any emotion or depth
1.4.1 Ben deflects or delays answering any of Gus' questions Toilet flushes on a delay
1.5 Sounds of inanimate objects break silence
1.5.1 Toilet / Dumb Waiter
1.6 Wilson
1.6.1 Assumed he is sending messages to the pair Audience Never Hears/ Sees Him Unseen Presence
1.6.2 Man in charge
1.6.3 Looming Presence Dominating Silence
1.6.4 Mysterious and Sinsiter
1.6.5 Malevolent God Ben and Gus wait for in silence
2 Social Class
2.1 Both Ben and Gus Lower / Working Class
2.1.1 Ben slightly higher ranking?
2.1.2 Often shown in accents
2.2 The Dumb Waiter Interactions
2.2.1 Ben pretends to know orders of food in order to impress
2.2.2 Much of the insecurities are tied to language
2.2.3 Warns Gus to act appropriately when speaking to the upstairs
2.3 Ben eager to impress Wilson
2.3.1 Believes he must be leader for a reason Inferiority rather than Respect
2.4 Complete separation from the upper class
3 Humour
3.1 Comedy of Menace
3.2 Pinter's use of juxtaposition
3.2.1 Ben using Gus' phrase after the kettle argument
3.3 Freud
3.3.1 3 people when telling a joke Maker/Aggressor, Victim & Audience To laugh is to ally with the aggressor A refusal to laugh is to ally with the victim Joke is test for the audience Jokes: creating a relationship
3.4 Tension/Difference/Division between Ben and Gus Introduced in the very first joke
3.4.1 Story of the old man Gus not fitted into the expected role of audience Did the old man deserve to die? Should he be pitied? Undermines the legitimacy of their entire enterprise as hitmen
3.4.2 Foreshadowing the play/problem
3.5 Repetition
3.6 Frantic use of Dumb Waiter
4 Violence
4.1 Lurking underneath silence is always the threat of violence
4.1.1 Anticipation Betrayal of Gus
4.2 Newspaper articles about death
4.2.1 Skip / joke past them Death not taken serious by either of the pair
4.2.2 Avoid speaking about them
4.3 Nature of their jobs
4.3.1 Hitmen
4.4 Ben constantly intimidating Gus
4.4.1 Ben more aggressive than Gus Gus feels more remorse for previous victims: young girl
4.5 Argument over Kettle
4.5.1 Ben physically attacks Gus "THE KETTLE YOU FOOL" - Whilst Choking Words intertwined with Physical violence

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