Books Like The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter | Suggested Reading

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Franz Kafka's novel The Trial, written in 1914 but not published in English until 1937, bears similarities to Pinter's play. Its anti-hero, Josef K., beset by vague guilt, is taken to his execution by polite gentlemen who are death's angelic summoners. Along with Beckett, Kafka had a major and acknowledged influence on Pinter, who, in 1993, adapted The Trial to the screen.

Pinter's long one-act play, The Dumbwaiter, written at about the same time as The Birthday Party, includes parallel characters that invite contrast. In it, two hired killers, Ben and Gus, await orders from an organization which remains as mysterious as that for which Goldberg and McCann work.

Ernest Hemingway's short story "The Killers,"first published in 1927, has a chilling pair of killers who appear in a small-town diner looking for their victim. Like Goldberg and McCann, they are unnervingly calm and fastidious in their manners. Critics...

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This section contains 218 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Birthday Party Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Birthday Party from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.