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

Contextualising the play - A Night Out by Harold Pinter

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Stephan Seiler Contextualising the play The Playwright (Harold Pinter) * Harold Pinter was born in the working-class neighbourhood of East London's Hackney in 1930, the son of a Jewish tailor. He evacuated to Cornwall, England, at the outbreak of World War II in 1939, and returned to London when he was 14. * He began acting in plays at his grammar school, and later received a grant to study at London's prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He left the school after two years, and spent most of the 1950s writing poetry and acting in small theatre productions. * In 1957, he wrote his first play, The Room. His first produced play; The Birthday Party came a year later. The reception was unfavourable, it closed within a week, but Pinter's next full-length play, The Caretaker (1960), was more successful. * The Dumb Waiter also staged in 1960, helped Pinter become more well known. He frequently directed, and sometimes acted in his own work in the 1960s and 1970s. This work was radio, television, and film based. * Pinter often acted in "who done its?" So this was a major influence in his work to do with gangsters and that lifestyle. ...read more.

Middle

* The East End of London in the post-war era was a rough place to live in, and gangs of boys roamed the street without fear. It was not unusual for weapons to be carried, and the Krays soon earned the violent reputations that have endured to this day. Like Ben and Gus. They were both equipped with revolvers each, to do their jobs and to protect themselves. * The twins ran protection rackets in the local area until 1960 when they branched out and opened a gambling club in Knightsbridge. Ben and Gus are staying in a basement, but upstairs is an old caf´┐Ż that could have been used for gangster, 'pay - protection' purpose. * Also, Ronnie Kray was h********l. One could set Gus as being h********l, because he is not as rough and 'manly' as Ben. 50 - 60s * Back in 1959 the then Tory Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, went into an election with the slogan that the British people "had never had it so good as under the Conservatives." Economic growth was over 3% a year, wages were rising, house prices were firm and, above all, everybody was in work - and all this with low inflation. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Ben and Gus could be under surveillance of the people above the basement just like in Orwell's novel. These two are strongly linked with each other because both are under surveillance. The Play in the context of the modern world * A twenty first century audience would find the play appealing and interesting because our society is much concerned with hiding in the modern world. For example, there are still a lot of organized gangs today. For example, Mafia, Yakuza and Triads etc. * Ben and Gus could have been seen as hiding from terrorists or something else outside that would cause harm to them. Perhaps they are terrorists themselves or members or members of the security services, hiding from something else. * A recent, major terrorist act that occurred was when two planes flew into the World Trade Centre's Twin Towers in New York, killing over 5,000 people. Ben and Gus could be part of the evil that is outside as embodied in such terrorist attacks. * There are still plenty of hit men or bounty hunters around today. Another reason for the audience being appealed to this play is that jobs including assassinations cause interest because there are many modern television programs and movies, which include such actions, for example, The Sopranos and the James Bond series. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Harold Pinter 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 University Degree Harold Pinter essays

  1. Using the attatched passage, The Birthday Party, Harold Pinter, 1960, examine the similarities and ...

    Meg dominates the word count with approximately four hundred words to Petey's two hundred, approximately 200% more than Petey. We assume that Meg is the superior speaker yet she addresses Petey by name on four occasions, rendering a politeness and at the same time, bestowing an importance upon him.

  2. 'The Birthday Party' by Harold Pinter is a study of power- where it comes ...

    This shows how Meg is weak because normally a person's instant reaction is to say something back but she doesn't. Instead she says "I'm not. Who said I am" she doesn't make any attempt to fight back. You can imagine in a theatre the fear in her voice.

  1. As well as being one of the most popular, The Homecoming (1965) has proved ...

    Into the midst of this walk Teddy and Ruth. Teddy stands aside from combat with the other men, though not before suffering an apparent defeat on his own ground - that of the detached intellect - at the hands of his brother Lenny. Gradually, attempts by the men to dominate Ruth are turned by her to her advantage, and

  2. "The Caretaker" is either about nothing or everything! How far do you agree with ...

    The fact that the room lies in chaos shows no hope for the future unless there is a present motivated plan of action to redecorate the entire house, which seems more and more remote as the play progresses. The chaos of the set helps convey the existentialist belief in the

  1. Since its first production in 1965 by the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Homecoming has ...

    This could be said to support the view that The Homecoming is rooted in misogynistic circumstances and focus that reflect predominately in the language. When Ruth does speak it is often to disruptive effect, critic Deborah A. Sarbin states: 'that she functions in the play as a disruptive force.'

  2. Compare my devised thematic work to another play or other types of drama, which ...

    It is something that is foreign to him, but he knows he must overcome it and he does. Otherwise, he would have shown no hesitation in killing Gus. It relates to our stimulus as there are two forms of gang warfare within the play, the first being Ben and Gus against every gang or group they have every killed.

  1. Rationality and reality under absurdity - book report on The Dumb Waiter.

    They just feel an invisible hand behind the curtain controlling the goings-on. To clear up every doubt is like a wild goose chase, just as Pinter has already commented on his creation that there can be no articulate certainty about the world.

  2. In what ways do the language rituals in "The Homecoming" and "Waiting for Godot" ...

    Inactivity, he reasoned, led to boredom, and then on to a contemplation of one's identity and position in life. It can be seen that from this situation arise two fundamental problems. Firstly there is the likelihood that the individual will discover things about himself and their life which are not to their liking.

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