The Dumb Waiter

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The Dumb Waiter The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter is a play that was influenced by Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Pinter’s work is about two men, Ben and Gus, who seem to work together although no one really knows what they do. The play starts out with Gus trying to fill the void space that is evident by his actions. Ben is reading the newspaper and does not seem to notice the silence of the scene, but Gus is trying to find something to fill this silence. The setting is that of a basement room with no windows and a door leading outside. This room contains two beds and two unidentified objects in the walls. The first lines of the play are about what Ben reads in his newspaper and this occurs after a long silence filled by Gus’s actions of removing his shoes to find matches and cigarettes in them. They then start to discuss the events in the paper where an old man was run over by a truck. The use of the word discussion in relation to this scene is used loosely because it is really not a discussion because Ben doesn’t seem to really want to discuss with Gus, be just wants to relay the information found in the paper. As the play continues there is more waiting and silence. Gus continually goes to the bathroom to occupy time and tries many times to ask Ben questions. Ben then tells Gus to make tea and to stop trying to have a conversation. This coldness of Ben towards Gus seems to be foreshadowing of the eventual ending. Gus does not immediately make tea and he seems to dawdle. He continues to make statements like “I hope it wont be a long job, this one” (131) and these statements create a sense of repetition. It seems like they do a job every week or so and that they go through all the same motions before they start the job. The... ... middle of paper ... ...her rooms on the other sides of the basement room. This is especially so that there can be an entrance and exit to the lavatory and kitchen and also a door to the passage. One door will be center stage right by the wall this will be the door to the kitchen and lavatory, the other will be opposite this and will be the door to the passage. The beds will be at slight angles but close to flat against the wall to show that the room is not a formal room but just a makeshift room, and they will be placed in upstage center and upstage left. Ben will start out sitting on his bed, which is on the left. As stated in the stage directions the dumb waiter will be in between the two beds but will at first be closed so it is not easily apparent. The drawing attached to this shows how the stage will be organized and shows the angular shape of the room better than can be described.
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