Essay, Pages 3 (581 words)
Harold Pinter was an English playwright, screenwriter , actor, theatre director and poet. He was of the most influential and imitated of modern British dramatists. Pinter’s writing career spanned over 50 years. Pinter’s dramas often involve strong conflicts between ambivalent characters who struggle for verbal and territorial dominance and for their own versions of the past. Stylistically, his works are marked by theatrical pauses and silences, irony and menace. Request Stop is a sketch written by Harold Pinter in 1959. During this time peoples beliefs and ideas were suppressed and neglected.
By writing this play, Rinter was trying to criticise this conservative way of feeling by creating the impression of a contemporary London divided, where people do not interact or want to be involved with others. The text is a short sketch with only one speaker. Although there are many characters in the scene, only the woman speaks, whilst the others characters ignore her, here, we can see the lack of interaction between people.
Although at first glance it looks like a regular play, the beginning of the play is in fact very unusual.
It starts with a woman asking “I beg your pardon, what did you say? ”. This question suggests that we have come halfway through the conversation. However, as you read on, the audience realises that it is in fact the beginning of the conversation and that the man she accused of insulting her was innocent. We then realise that she is in fact setting out to cause trouble. The woman who talks is shown to be a very rude and insulting person.
This is illustrated throughout her comments to the other characters.
She also seems to be very racist, not necessarily to foreigners but to anybody that was born outside of London. This suggests that she is very narrowminded and discriminative. E. g. “Anyone can tell you’re foreigner. I was born just around the corner… you’re just up from the country…” From this sketch we can also infer the values of the bystanders. They just stand by and let the man be insulted, even though they know they did nothing wrong. They do not want to get involved and interfere, and would rather pretend it’s not happening.
At the beginning of the text and at the end the woman’s’ language is very formal and polite. E. g. “I beg your pardon”. However, as the text progresses she gets rid of the formality and becomes more rude. Even when she is being rude the woman uses language which is evidence of a high class education, e. g. “Impertinence”. She also calls the man “my lad” trying to show that she has more authority than him and possesses him. It is also evident that the woman is obsessed with authority, shown by the legal semantic field, e. g. “charge”, “magistrates court”, “witness”, “detective”.
All these words help her to try and illustrate her supposed power and importance. The woman’s use of pronouns in the text creates a very rude attitude. She uses pronouns as “you” and “she”, e. g. “We know what sort she is” which makes her seem insulting. She also uses the pronoun “we” in order to try and involve everyone on the bus stop, and in the audience, and to create the impression that it is everyone’s opinion. The woman also uses the pronoun “I” a lot. This shows that she is self centered and believes that is the most important person at the bus stop.