The Caretaker by Harold Pinter Essay

The Caretaker by Harold Pinter Essay

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The Caretaker by Harold Pinter

In this essay I will take the position that the audience see Davies as
both a social victim and a social parasite. Firstly a definition of a
social victim and a social parasite will be given. A social victim is
an individual who is looked down upon by other members of society,
vulnerable to blame and not accorded the same rights as others.
Therefore this disenfranchised group of people do not experience the
usual comforts and perks of society. A social parasite is someone who
exists off the backs of others efforts and not their own.

Davies is a social victim because of his low social standing as a
vagrant. He is definitely at the bottom of the social hierarchy;
perhaps he is there because others have trodden on him to climb higher
themselves .It is not explained how, but what we do know is that
because Davies is a social victim, to survive he also becomes a social
parasite.

Throughout the play Davies shows some strong traits to the audience of
being a social victim. The audience's very first impression of Davies
is that his appearance is one of a vagrant,

"Davies wears a worn brown overcoat, shapeless trousers, a waistcoat,
vest, no shirt, and sandals." This description shows Davies either
does not take a large amount of care in his appearance, or he cannot
afford smart, tidy clothes. This makes the audience feel sorry for
him. The audience recognises that his anti-social appearance sets
Davies apart from the rest of society. The waistcoat Davies is wearing
gives the impression that he was once a respected gentleman. However,
the worn and shapeless clothes he is also wearing in contrast with the
waistcoat make him look unkempt and scruffy. Davies likes to portray
hi...


... middle of paper ...


...aps he had the
intention of stealing from Aston. He noticeably does not want Aston to
see him looking around in this way; this is shown because Davies opens
the door to see if Aston is gone, and then closes before looking
around. It could be considered that Davies does this because he would
not want Aston to think he is taking advantage of him. Davies is
inquisitive. He picks up some random items of Aston's, comments on
them, and puts them back. To the audience, Davies is so interested in
Aston's things because he wants to see what Aston is worth. If Aston
had little, there would be less point in staying, as there would
nothing to gain from Davies' perspective.

To conclude, there are many episodes within the first act that reflect
both Davies' victimisation and his opportunism, thus enabling the
audience to view him as social victim and social parasite.

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