• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Max characterisation - The Homecoming

Extracts from this document...


Max characterisation Pinter presents Max as the dispossessed alpha male, fighting in an ethological battle against his 3 sons. His attempts to retain his power are unsuccessful as his questions and insults are, for the most part, completely ignored. He feels unheard in his own home as he asks "do you hear what I'm saying? I'm talking to you"; he has become subordinate and has lost his dominance. Seen as a patriarchal interrogator and intimidator in his younger years, highlighted by him entering the play with a question "what have you done with the scissors?" and telling stories about his 'glory days', Max uses exclamations, expletives and questions to try to draw out those around him. Feminising his brother and sons, by calling them insults such as "whore" and "slutbitch", Max tries to regain ground in the power struggle between the Hackney predators. ...read more.


This subtext is enhanced when Lenny speaks of when his father used to "toss" him in the air then "catch" him coming down. The ambivalence of this phrase could show that Max was a caring, playful endearing father or that he was careless and violent with his sons. In The Homecoming language is seen as "an attempt to cover nakedness" Max's vulnerability is exposed as much of his speech is long passages spaced with pauses, as noone responds. He is in constant need for attention, making it clear that he's "here, too, you know", as if his constant shouting and spitting out of the actor's words had not already made that clear. He longs for affection both from his sons and Ruth as he asks if Teddy if he wants "a cuddle" from his father- suggesting this is the warmth his children felt towards him when they were younger. ...read more.


Sam's final one-liner, exclaiming that "MacGregor had Jessie" in the back of his car further proves the hypothesis that Max is not Lenny's father. In the semiotics of theatre by Max's cigar going out we can see from a Freudian persective, with the use of phallic symbolsm, that Max is aware that he has lost his alpha role as "he stubs it out" himself. This shows that he 'fell' from his position, more than it being taken from him. Throughout the play Max is seen as patriarchal, pugilistic and aggressive. His attempts to regain his position as alpha male go unfulfilled an his chair, with a central placing in the room, acting as a throne, is eventually taken over by Ruth in the screen version of the play. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Play Writes section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Play Writes essays

  1. The Birthday Party, a comedy of menace (Pinter)

    The inappropriateness of Meg's treatment of Stanley and his being a fully grown man also creates humour at other moments of the play, for example when she asks him if he "pa[id] a visit this morning" (went to the toilet).

  2. Discuss Pinters dramatic presentation of Ruth in The Homecoming

    I'll show you the room' shows the reader that ultimately, Ruth's opinions are irrelevant as the subordinate member in a marriage. Like Joey is to Lenny, Teddy sees Ruth as merely an appendage, thus his patronizing condescendence, 'You can help me with my lectures when we get back'.

  1. What Made A Taste of Honey Dramatic

    Geoffrey knows that because of his homosexuality this is probably the only chance he will ever have of being a father figure. Geoffrey knows also that he will never be able to have an openly gay relationship because it will be condemned by society and he will be the victim of abuse.

  2. How does Pinter exploit the verbal and the visual in the Birthday Party

    Overall, verbally and visually, Meg seems to be a simple and trusting character that cares a great deal about her guests and what they think. However, her last words, "Oh, it's true I was. (Pause) I know I was." perhaps show that she is not so trusting as she seems

  1. Westside story, Use of language

    The language works so well with each individual character because of the way it has been projected. For example, take Riff and make him the complete opposite of what he is, spoke quietly and didn't use any meaning into what he said, it wouldn't work as well.

  2. Long Day's Journey into Night: Can One Successfully Escape Reality?

    When thoughts of his mother seem to be the furthest thing from his mind, there are still inescapable parallels in his behavior that suggest he is more upset over his mother than he lets on to anyone, including himself. Jamie's attempt to escape reality does not accomplish anything but nearly

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work