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The Dumb Waiter | Study Guide

Harold Pinter

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The Dumb Waiter | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Gus on’t you ever get a bit fed up? Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, NPR Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Social Class & Power Dynamics In an unjust system, the rich give orders to the working class. Obedience to Authority Ben and Gus follow odd directions from their superiors. Threat of Violence Murder and mayhem always lurk just around the corner. Themes Dumb Waiter Device resembling a small elevator that delivers things from room to room; sends orders without explanation, symbolizing authority over Gus and Ben Gus Brash, talkative gangster frustrated by his low social standing; distrusts authority figures and their motives; frequently impatient with Ben Ben Stoic, no-nonsense, experienced gangster; respects authority figures and follows instructions; frequently exasperated with Gus Main Characters Pinter’s signature style of terse, minimalist dialogue with emotion simmering under the surface gained him numerous accolades, including a 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature. The psychological warfare in his plays changed theater’s approach to violence, making onstage brutality more subtle and frightening. HAROLD PINTER1930–2008 Author Through the dumb waiter, Ben gets his next assignment—to kill Gus. Assignment Food orders sent from an unknown source increase the feeling of tension. Unseen Authority Trapped in a room together, Ben and Gus compete for dominance. Power Struggle Stuck in a basement awaiting their next assignment, two assassins fight boredom. Then the absurd happens—a dumb waiter elevator keeps sending down food orders they can’t fill. Inspired by theater of the absurd, this black comedy is fraught with tension and has a shocking twist ending. A Job Gone Wrong OVERVIEW English Original Language 1960 Year Published Harold Pinter Author The Dumb Waiter Comedy Play

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