Harold Pinter: The Caretaker

(2098 words)
  • Ken Newton (University of Dundee)

The Caretaker was first produced in London in 1960 and was Harold Pinter's first major success as a dramatist. It has three characters, the brothers Aston and Mick and the tramp Davies. Aston, who it is revealed has suffered from mental illness and undergone electric shock treatment, invites Davies into his house after rescuing him when he's about to be beaten up. Mick, a builder and sadistic type, who has difficulty communicating with his brother, appears to resent this intrusion and virtually terrorizes Davies. However, Davies is eventually invited to take up the position of caretaker, but his selfish and inconsiderate behaviour towards Aston leads to his being told by him to go. An attempt to gain the support of Mick fails and …

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Citation:
Newton, Ken. "The Caretaker". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 July 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1345, accessed 30 July 2014.]