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This presentation highlights the political aspects of the context of The Birthday Party, a play written by Harold Pinter. Harold Pinter is an English playwright who achieved international success as one of the most complex post world war II dramatists.
POLITICAL READING OF THE
NAME: JANKIBA K. RANA
PAPER NO: 9
THE MODERNIST LITERATURE
M.A. SEM – III ROLL NO: 09
DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH
INTRODUCTION- HAROLD PINTER
Harold Pinter is an English
playwright who achieved international success
as one of the most complex post world war II
He was born in Hackeny, a working – class
neighbourhood in London’s East End, the son of
Both of his parents were Jewish, born in
At the age of 14, he returned to London.
Pinter later said:
“ The condition of being bombed has never left
“I could have gone to prison – I took my
toothbrush to the trails – but it so happened that
the magistrate was slightly sympathetic, so I
was fined instead, thirty pounds in all. Perhaps
I’ll be called up again in the next war, but I won’t
INTRODUCTION- “THE BIRTHDAY PARTY”
The birthday party is “a deeply political
play about the individual’s imperative
need for resistance.”
If we refer to the character’s of The
We come to know that how politics has
affected on every individual’s life and the
ill-treatment of an individual.
Stanely Webber- potagonist , an artist
Meg Boles ordinary people impotent
Petey Boles powerless
Goldberg in side of power and violence
POLITICAL INFLUENCE IN BIRTHDAY PARTY
PLIGHT OF AN ARTIST
He is an artist who had rebelled against the mode of life which
society tries to impose upon its members but the pressures of society
make the artist conform to the prevailing social manners and mores.
Society could not tolerate the free – thinking individualistic artist
because it saw him as a threat to its own stability.
Society symbolise by Nat and McCann and they have destroyed the
artist’s individuality. And at last we saw him dressed in suit and clean,
collared shirt. He appears defeated and docile.
Meg Boles :
Meg cannot give Stanley a piano, she can only a
cheap post war toy.
In the privation of a post war Britan only the middle
classics had pianos.
Petey’s wife .
Meg told Petey to read newspaper badly, it shows
that power is in hand of men.
And women are marginalised character.
His act of reading newspaper it also suggest that he
is hiding himself, or we can say is weakness and
impotentness. Not able to help Stanley.
Symbol of inspiration of an artist. One of the two
strangers seduced her, symbolically represents the
torture inflicted on Stanley the artist.
She may also be a symbol of women being used as
too or toy for pleasure by man.
BRIEF NOTE ON REFLECTION OF POLITICS IN INDIVIDUAL’S
BRIEF NOTE ON REFLECTION OF POLITICS IN
Nat and McCann:
Two strangers who came to interrogate and intimidate
Stanley before taking him away. They are may be the
agent of man’s existential anxiety. May be a gangster in
the employ of some criminal organisation.
That Stanley is accused of having betrayed is no t
specifically identified although it may be seen to stem from
a number of possible sources.
Criminal , religious, metaphysical or political.
ART TRUTH AND POLITICS..
In this essay he talks about political theatre presents an
entirely different set of problems . sermonising has to be
avoided at all cost. Objectivity is essential. The
characters must be allowed to breathe their own air. The
author cannot confine and constrict them to satisfy his
own taste or disposition or prejudice. He must be
prepared to approach them from a variety of angles..
“In my play the Birthday Party I think I allow a whole
range of options to operate in a dense forest of
possibility before finally focussing on an act of
At last we can say he charged his play with bleak sense
of modernity and modern relationship.
Shetir takes issue with Edward Albee:
She argues that Pinter is indeed a “Splendid Writer” not
because he is a “good political activist” or for his “brave
political stand against policies”