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The Caretaker Essay | Critical Essay #2

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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay, noted theatre critic Brustein examines Pinter's play as a work of existentialism, concluding that The Caretaker is "a work in which existence not only precedes essence but thoroughly destroys it."

When Harold Pinter tells us that his plays contain no meaning outside of the material itself, I think we should believe him, giving thanks for his unusual, though somewhat self-incriminating, honesty. The Caretaker—being little more than the sum of its component parts and dramatic values—certainly seems totally free from either significance or coherence. In this, no doubt, it has something in common with real life. But while the work displays a surface painstakingly decorated with naturalistic details, these are so peculiarly selected that the effect is quite distorted: the play is a slice of life, sliced so arbitrarily that it has lost all resemblance to life. Because of the mystery surrounding Pinter's...

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This section contains 1,173 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Caretaker Study Guide
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The Caretaker from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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