Harold Pinter’s two-act play, The Homecoming, offers a penetrating insight into the dark male attitudes directed at women. The all-male members of Max’s family are marked with inclination
'The sudden appearance of a women figure makes Sam awaken to the truth of his impression of women. Pinter presents Sam as a retainer of the family moral, and when the family strikes a deal to make Ruth a prostitute, acting the combined role of “whore-mother-wife”, he is forced to blurt out the secret of Jessie. Sam, as a witness to the violence of this nucleus family, maintains that women should be a wife-figure.'
A fantastic, thought-provoking and humourus speech by Harold Pinter in which he talks about the homecoming and his thoughts when beginning to write the play: 'Our beginnings never know our ends'. And then goes on to focus on his works in relation to politics and the discovery of truth. Definitely worth a watch if you have the time.
In Connotations 21.2-3 Maurice Charney analyzes Pinter's The Homecoming.
1. Ruth's 'fractured discourse' could be more powerful than Lenny's unsettlingly fluid monologues e.g. in this highly sexualized passage: Look at me. I … move my leg. That's all it is. But I wear … underwear … which moves with me …it… captures your attention. Perhaps you misinterpret. The action is simple. It's a leg … moving. My lips move. Why don't you restrict … your observations to that? Perhaps the fact that they move is more significant … than the words which come through them. You must bear that … possibility … in mind. (52−53)
2. from website: Ruth suddenly blurts out: "I was born quite near here" (53). This announces that the play is also about Ruth's homecoming.
3. the idea that Pinter lets his characters 'pursue their autonomous destinies'. 'He claimed not to have any superior knowledge about why his characters moved in the ways that they did, and he was dismayed by naturalistic and causative explanations, especially among reviewers but also by established literary critics.'
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