First, to well reply the inquiry above, it is so imperative to show a definition of absurdist theater by which to pull comparings from, to successfully measure Harold Pinter ‘s The Homecoming as a representative illustration.
It should ab initio be brought to the attending of the reader that absurdist theater in consequence does non show a typical definition or rigorous regulations or guidelines from which to conform, for illustration, a piece of drama book to. However, there is an reading that has been most famously noted by Martin Esslin in his ‘Theatre of the Absurd ‘ , from which he puts this term into some context of apprehension, influenced from “ the Gallic philosopher Albert Camus, in his ‘Myth of Sisyphus ‘ , written in 1942. ” ( Culik 2000 ) . For illustration, Esslin in his ‘Theatre of the Absurd ‘ remarks on the usage of the word ‘Absurd ‘ depicting its original significance as “ ‘out of harmoniousness ‘ in a musical context. ” ( Worthen 2004 P 907 -10 ) However, he hones in on Camus ‘ usage of the word, which is used in the apprehension of absurdist theater that has a wholly different impression behind it. For illustration, Ionesco defines this impression as, “ Absurd is that which is devoid of intent… Cut off from his spiritual, metaphysical, and nonnatural roots, adult male is lost ; all his actions become mindless, absurd, useless. ” ( Worthen 2004 P 907 -10 ) Therefore, the most cardinal subject to Absurdist Theatre is “ consciousness of this deficiency of intent in all we do [ and how this ] produces a province of metaphysical torment. ” ( Ray 2005 )
Furthermore, harmonizing to the Oxford English Dictionary, the ‘Theatre of the Absurd ‘ ; the term basically coined by Martin Esslin in his critical work, as mentioned above ; defines the apprehension that “ The Theatre of the Absurd strives to show its sense of inanity of the human status and the insufficiency of the rational attack by the unfastened forsaking of rational devices and dianoetic idea. ” ( OED 2010 ) Esslin continues to notice, in his survey of ‘Theatre of the Absurd ‘ , on the “ disorientating quality of [ the ] dramas ” ( Worthen 2004 P 907 -10 ) that are normally grouped into the genre of absurd, and how “ so many established critics… have condemned the [ ‘absurdist dramas ‘ ] for [ their ] deficiency of secret plan, development, word picture, suspense or field common sense. ” ( Worthen 2004 P 907 -10 ) Specifically Esslin uses Samuel Beckett ‘s ‘Waiting for Godot ‘ as an illustration to show that those in society that are “ unworldly plenty t o come to the theater without any preconceived impressions and ready-made outlooks ” ( Worthen 2004 P 907 -10 ) about a public presentation were therefore able to look past the “ bunk or bewilderment ” ( Worthen 2004 P 907 -10 ) of these types of dramas and happen significance and apprehension in them, instead than their seemingly “ impertinent and hideous impersonation ” ( Worthen 2004 P 907 -10 ) .
In footings of linguistic communication, the Theatre of the Absurd, “ tends toward [ s ] a extremist devaluation of linguistic communication ” ( Worthen 2004 P 907 -10 ) , in other words cut downing the value of linguistic communication that logically, dramas are so to a great extent reliant on. However, this is non to state that linguistic communication is wholly disregarded, because in fact it is non, its map is more affectingly used to belie the action of the character voicing the lines.
In footings of its historical context, Theatre of the Absurd has emanated from the daring motions in art from the period of the 1920s – 30s, arising from Paris. Yet, likely more cardinal to its rise was the traumatic horror experienced from World War II. Furthermore, around this clip the beginning of the loss of spiritual significance and dependance in people ‘s lives highlighted the antonym of intent and significance to life, alongside the vibrating realization of the uncertainness of life. As a effect the Theatre of the Absurd aimed to show an anti- theater, to reflect as the universe was get downing to rupture apart, with its lesson ‘s, conventions and values, so excessively must theatre germinate out of its traditionality and go “ phantasmagoric, unlogical, conflictless and plotless. ” ( Culik 2000 ) .
On first visual aspects Pinter ‘s The Homecoming, seems to suit the theory of the Theatre of the Absurd. It ab initio presents the reader with an absurd scene, whereby the dorsum wall has been removed. The phase action is juxtaposed against the pathetic linguistic communication that seems to be dianoetic – the character Max, seems to go through aimlessly between topic after topic. It about satirises how linguistic communication is the key to communicating. However, the duologue seems pathetic with the phase action beliing the words that are said by the characters. For illustration, Max says to Lenny: “ Do n’t you speak to me like that. Im warning you ” ( Worthen 2004 p. 764 ) the apprehension of the linguistic communication implies Max aggressive attitude and incarnation, yet the phase action suggest a complete apposition “ ( He sits in big arm chair ) ” ( Worthen 2004 p. 764 ) .
Furthermore, the absurd duologue exchanged by the rule supporter Max seems to be flooring and the ability to grok impossible, therefore adhering to the unlogical sense instilled in absurdist linguistic communication. He talks about his married woman in a negative and oppressive tone, “ it made me vomit merely to look at her icky icky face, she was n’t such a bad bitch. ” ( Worthen 2004 p.764 ) Lenny ‘s reaction seems to be wholly unmindful to his male parent ‘s statement about his female parent. Alternatively of the words he hears, it ‘s as if he hears annoying noise being expelled from Max ‘s oral cavity and wants him to be quiet. To add to the absurdness of the two characters we are presented with Max negotiations about himself in a mode that is eccentric, “ your icky foul male parent ” ( Worthen 2004 p.764 ) . The look of this inanity and insistent dianoetic tendency throughout the whole drama creates an inexplicable semblance that intelligibly baffles its audiences and readers.
More so, in footings of linguistic communication, the drama adheres to the unlogical tendency absurdist theater expresses, through the representation of the characters Teddy and Ruth. They are married, yet Teddy is non fazed in the slightest as his brothers start to hold sexual dealingss with his married woman. For illustration, Lenny says to Joey in forepart of Teddy, “ You did n’t acquire all the manner and you ‘ve had her up at that place for two hours! ” ( Worthen 2004 p782 ) . This farcical behavior stimulates an even more elusive realization for readers and audiences, as they begin to understand the inanity of the human status that Absurdist theatre seeks to show. Furthermore, the inexplicable look of linguistic communication strengthens even more so towards the terminal of the drama. This is where we see the household, excepting Teddy ; gravitate towards Teddy ‘s married woman Ruth, desiring her to remain in the family. Their aim for her is to turn her into a prostitute. This may be an act to replace the old materfamilias of the household, Jessie, who was both a female parent and a prostitute. Teddy ‘s distinguishable separation from the significance of the duologue depicts the unfastened forsaking of rational devices, as he decides that it is all right to go forth his married woman at that place.
However, in resistance to the statement above, it is easy to see that Pinter ‘s The homecoming does reflect the tendencies of Absurdist theater, yet something more new and exciting is emerging that does non merely curtail itself to this category/genre. For illustration, throughout the drama we can see the heavy mix of influence from the realist and absurdist genre ‘s that dominate the bulk of the drama. This apposition reflected in the scene, unmaskings side by side “ mundane domesticity with a elusive undertone of animalistic force ” ( Gin 2008 ) .
Francis Grin, in his book ‘Pinter ‘s Stage, ‘A New Genre ‘ argues that if you read Pinter ‘s drama without the “ already existing model ” ( Gin 2008 ) of realist and absurdist theater, so you will detect the text for what it genuinely is, “ an wholly new sort of dramatic art ” ( Gin 2008 ) . Gin continues to reason that Pinter ‘s drama needs “ to be looked through an independent model ” ( Gin 2008 ) to detect the alone “ ‘Pinteresque ‘ manner of theater vitamin E ” ( Gin 2008 ) .
In add-on Gin ‘s alone penetration into this genre, and more specifically Pinter ‘s The Homecoming, allows a more comprehensive apprehension to be gained from the apparently inexplicable read. For illustration, Gin clearly see ‘s that “ Pinter creates a beat and pacing ” ( Gin 2008 ) which mimics “ the unusual forms of existent life duologue, but allow [ ing ] the panic… to hit place as the witness fills the Pinteresque intermission with their ain subjective imaginativeness. ” ( Gin 2008 ) . It is true that the drama is fragmented with what seems to be a burdenful sum of intermissions. This in itself does non represent the drama being placed into an absurdist class, but more so into Pinter ‘s really ain class. As ( Bradshaw 2004 ) provinces, “ The characters ‘ address, vacillations, and intermissions reveal non merely their ain disaffection and the troubles they have in pass oning but besides the many beds of intending that can be contained in even the most innocuous statements. ” ( Bradshaw 2004 )
Theatre Critic Molly Flatt, besides has an animating position on Pinter ‘s drama that suggests there is much more to the drama than merely incorporating it to two genre ‘s of theatre signifier ( absurdist/realist ) . She describes it as a dark, “ amusing and recognizable portrayal of 1970s maleness ” ( Flatt 2008 ) until another character Teddy the “ extravagant boy ” ( Flatt 2008 ) returns with his married woman Ruth, whom disrupts the phase action from “ awkward to disconcertingly bizarre. ” ( Flatt 2008 ) Indeed this is brooding of the theater of the absurd with its “ realistic scene and duologue ” ( Flatt 2008 ) infused with the undertone of “ dim, black [ domestic ] horror ” ( Flatt 2008 ) . However its surrealism allows us to “ [ gaining control ] what is great and cockamamie and incorrect and sincere that we understand what is human. ” ( Flatt 2008 ) As Pinter himself states that there are many truths that seek to “ dispute, kick, reflect, ignore, badger each other [ … and so on ] ” ( Flatt 2008 ) yet we ne’er genuinely hold truth in our custodies for more than a minute. ( Flatt 2008 )
In decision I think that it is clear Pinter is to a great extent influenced by the daring and absurdist motions, yet his glare in doing such eldritch and fantastic dramas does non merely lie in these genres, but in something that he has genuinely made alone and as Gin remarks wholly created an wholly new dramatic art. Yes it is clear to see the influences of surrealism, pragmatism and absurdist theater in his work, particularly in The Homecoming, but to what extent it is a representative illustration of Absurdist Theatre, would be to oversimplify Pinter ‘s work. Therefore, after analyzing the text it would be indecorous non to admit the influence of absurdist theater, but besides non to admit Pinter ‘s the homecoming is “ ambivalent in [ its ] secret plan, presentation of character… but [ are besides ] plants of undeniable power and originality. ” ( Bradshaw 2004 ) .