Ans. The Caretaker is the most popular play of Harold Pinter and certainly one of the 20th century’s most notable works of the stage. The Caretaker in the play is Davies but the idea of a ‘caretaker’ can be seen on several levels.
Davies is an itinerant and a tramp. He involves himself in a fight at his cafe job. He is bad, confident, arrogant and full of himself. He has a martyr complex as he believes that everyone else, specially other races, is trying to get him. His papers have been at Sidcup for a long time. So, his identity is questionable. After Davies’ fight at his cafe job, Aston and Mick offer him the job of a caretaker for their house. There is no indication in the play regarding the reason of the two brothers for selecting the same person as the caretaker. Though it is assumed that the brothers lack communication with each other and so they offered the same person for job, Pinter gives no exact information about it. One of the brothers is suffering from neurosis caused by electric shock treatment and another appears to be in aggressive dominating mode of behaviour which creates troubles on the way of their communication yet, the brothers are inextricably connected with each other through their ownership of the house. As they live in a same house but lack communication, they need a caretaker for the development of the house. The encounter of the two brothers with Davies and his job as the caretaker forms the main interest of the play. So, the title is just and appropriate.
Some other incidents in the play can be connected with the title of the play. After Aston’s help to Davies for escaping from a brawl and to bring him home, Aston offers Davies to work as a caretaker. However, in reality Mick owns the building, not Aston. So, his suggestion was unrealistic. Mick, however functions as the caretaker as he is more responsible brother of the two. He takes care of Aston who has been hospitalized for his mental illness. Moreover, the title can also refer to, “to take care of”.
The title of the drama, The Caretaker generally refers to the caretaker Davies who is the caretaker of Aston and Mick. But some other aspects of the drama can also be related with the title.
Leave a Reply