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Discuss Pinters Presentation of the power of the state here and elsewhere in the play.

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Presentation on theme: "Discuss Pinters Presentation of the power of the state here and elsewhere in the play."— Presentation transcript:

1 Discuss Pinters Presentation of the power of the state here and elsewhere in the play

2 How is authority imposed? How does the state impose its authority? The imposition of Authority in the The Birthday Party is seen in the way working-class and ordinary people are subjugated into lesser positions through threat and verbal abuse. Usually authority has components of both compulsion and persuasion-Stanley is compelled to obey through physical threats as seen in McCanns commands to Stanley Get in that seat (47) and Ill kick the shite out of him(47). The persuasive element of authoritarianism is seen in Still the same old Stan. Come with us. Come on boy, with the slimy Goldberg promising Stanley all kinds of rewards if he only consents to undergo some kind of brainwashing and be the kind of man any organisation would be proud of.

3 Authority in The Birthday Party is perpetuated through: family (parental authority). The family is the first introduction a child gets to rules about obeying authority figures. Goldberg remembers listening to his father and the values that his father expects him to live by. It is through his father and the conservative values his father represents, that makes Goldberg into the cold-hearted figure of bureaucracy and authority that we see of him.

4 Authority in The Birthday Party is perpetuated through: Father and then to State. Goldberg: My father said to me, Benny, Benny he said, come here. He was dying. I knelt down. By kneeling down to his father, Goldberg is learning how to be submissive to higher authority. This same kneeling to father is continued when Mccann demands Lulu to confess and (kneel) to him, the representative of God on Earth. Goldberg continues reminiscing about his father: Keep an eye out for low-lives, for schnorrers and for layabouts… Do your duty and keep your observations. The father on behalf of the state teaches his son (Goldberg) to categorise and discriminate (low-lifes…layabouts) and then threaten by doing the state proud through Goldbergs dutiful carrying out of murder and brainwashing.

5 Authority in The Birthday Party is perpetuated through: -Authority figures or institutions are seen in intermediate organizations, such as schools, churches, armies, industries and bureaucracies. -In The Birthday Party, religious terms such as McCanns shout to Lulu to confess and references to Judas shows us that the two interrogaters may be after Stanley for perceived betrayal of a religious organisation. Religious organisations do the work of the state, by espousing traditional values such as duty, loyalty and inculcate aversion to betrayal; by linking betrayal to Judas (the very term Goldberg accuses Stanley of)

6 -There is a suggestion that McCann and Goldberg may be part of a mysterious organisation which could be the IRA or secret Government organisations with powers to infiltrate, brainwash, terrorise and extract for further brainwashing. This may be seen in the throwaway phrase: (p48) M: Why did you leave the organisation? G: What would your old mum say, Webber? M: Why did you betray us?

7 Pinter deliberately makes it all mysterious as to whether Stanley betrayed an organisation or a religious institute. To Pinter, by making this betrayal mysterious, he hopes to show that all institutes whether religious or secular, use force, coercion and threats to make its members toe the line.

8 Power of the state always sustained and continues Pinters use of the mentor-mentee partnership. Mccann learns the ropes with hands-on training from Goldberg; the same way Goldberg was to Uncle Barney. Hence the power of the state is always sustained. G and M as a duo complement each other by cooperating with each other to carry out the states agenda

9 Power of the state seen in its crushing of ordinary man Petey and Meg unable to stop the carting away of Stanley G and Ms combined force becomes impenetrable, coupled with threats of bodily harm, mental torture why dont you come with us? Come with us to Monty They crushed Petey with the combined power of two operatives, self-assured style and sheer brawn. Ordinary man is powerless when up against coordinated and combined efforts.

10 Power of the state seen in sophisticated discipline and punishment tactics Surveillance of ordinary man seen in successfully locating Stanley in a particular seaside town. Shows long term and sustained surveillance Sure I am sure This is it, where the word This is so particular that it tells us the audience, Megs boarding house has been under long term watch- list. Coupled with words like List, it makes it seem that the state has vast resources to keep watch over a particular house

11 Power of the state seen in sophisticated reward tactics for its operatives State hires men using its vast resources to keep this men beholden to it and to carry out its operations successfully. Goldberg is the owner of a bungalow and like Mc, wears suits as if they have money, paid for by the state so that the state ensures that they are cash-incentivised to carry out the states agendas efficiently.

12 The state ensures compliance through punishment tactics State ensures compliance through invoking the fear of Monty which may be a mental asylum with its horrific electric shock therapies, to ensure brainwashing. Thus Goldberg and Mccann talk of adjusted re- orientated and integrated. This is the ultimate dream of a coercive state; able to incentivise operatives who adjust people to comply and listen to state directives.

13 Discuss Pinter's presentation of the power of the state here and elsewhere in the play. Paragraph on Tone "It' is mysterious and suspenseful, evocative of the fearful power the state holds over its citizens in the form of the two henchmen. The phrase 'it' may mean the commencement of torture for the civilian, Stanley. Mc and Goldberg are epitomes of state power, where Goldberg is the main man and Mc his subordinate. Gold's address to his subordinate is expansive and seemingly relaxed; yet it is his relaxed tone that points to Goldberg's powerful presence of the state, who will only send very powerful and confident men to do its dirty deeds. Gold provides reassurances 'sure I am sure' to Mc nervous questions 'are you sure'. The reassurance conveys the idea that the state never sends one man alone to do the job. It needs two men; one the main instigator and the other the 'grunt-man'. The state's power is derived from the two men carrying out its dark deeds against the civilians in 'the right house' Gold's expansive and narrative story telling mode 'When I was an apprentice', acts as a modus operandi of how the state and powerful organisations get their recruits and train them. Gold says 'what can you lose' the word ' lose ' showing how organizations train cold- blooded killers. These killers are trained to be fearless of death or consequences. They have 'Uncle Barney's, other older men who act as their mentors and trainers. The quick succession of names of places 'Brighton, Canvey Islan...' are all vacation places with seemingly idyllic moments 'golden days'. On the surface it seems to be harmless reminisces, however the stories also read of covert surveillance tactics by highly trained assassins pretending to take vacations and yet underneath they are trained agents of the state. Even the evocation of a so-called 'community' is chilling, suggestive of an inter-dependent organism of a well- organised cartel.

14 Discuss Pinter's presentation of the power of the state here and elsewhere in the play. Paragraph on Characterisation Goldberg is presented as an instrument of the state; uncaring and coldly efficient as seen in his speech patterns. His adept way of turning Mc questions point to his effienciency and experience What makes you think.. brings out this efficency as seen in the way he makes Mc answer Mc own question I didnt see a number…

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