Let down by the uncertainties of memory, language, and their own family units, the characters in Harold Pinter’s plays endure persistent struggles to establish their own identities.
Eroding the Language of Freedom re-examines how identity is shaped in these plays, arguing that the characters’ failure to function as active members of society speaks volumes to Pinter’s ideological preoccupation with society’s own inadequacies. Pinter described himself as addressing the state of the world through his plays, and in the linguistic games, emotional balancing acts, and recurring scenarios through which he put his characters, readers and audiences can see how he perceived that world.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Question of Identity in Harold Pinter’s Drama
Chapter One: Strong Arm Her: Gendered Identity in Harold Pinter’s A Kind of Alaska (1982)
Chapter Two: The Indelible Memory: Memorial Identity in Harold Pinter’s Ashes to Ashes (1996)
Chapter Three: Eroded Rhetoric: Linguistic Identity in Harold Pinter’s One for the Road (1984) and Mountain Language (1988)
Chapter Four: Chic Dictatorship: Power and Political Identity in Harold Pinter’s Party Time (1991)
Chapter Five: The Ethic and Aesthetic of Existence: Sexual Identity in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal (1978)
Chapter Six: Crumbling Families: Familial and Marital Identity in Harold Pinter’s Celebration (2000)
Farah Ali is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Leeds.