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Shelley began writing 'Frankenstein' in the company of what has been called 'her male coterie', including her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and his physician John Polidori. It has been suggested that the influence of this group, and particularly that of Shelley and Byron, affected her portrayal of male characters in the novel. As Ann Campbell writes: '[The] characters and plot of Frankenstein reflect . . . Shelley's conflicted feelings about the masculine circle which surrounded her.' Certainly the male characters in 'Frankenstein' are more developed that those of the females. Elizabeth Fay has suggested that the female characters are 'idealised figures' in much of Shelley's work, particularly in the descriptions of Caroline and Elizabeth, the two mother figures in the novel. Caroline is, on surface value, a perfect parent, together with her husband, which renders Victor's irresponsibility in abandoning the creature more unforgivable. She 'possessed a mind of uncommon mould' which was also 'soft and benevolent'; she is compared to a 'fair exotic' flower which is sheltered by Alphonse; she drew 'inexhaustible stores of affection from a very mine of love to bestow' on Victor, and her 'tender caresses' are some of his 'first recollections'. She is the idealised mother, a figure that Shelley viewed wistfully, as her own mother died when she was ten days old to be replaced by a disinterested stepmother. Caroline's parenting provides the care that Frankenstein might well have lacked, had he been left to his father alone "“ his father dismisses Agrippa's work without explanation, thereby setting Victor on his course towards 'destruction'. This is the first introduction of a theme that continues throughout the book, that of the necessity for female figures in parenting and in society. Without a mother figure and left only with Frankenstein who subsumes both parental roles, the creature's life is blighted by his imperfection and lack of companionship. However, Caroline is also the trigger to Alfonse's chivalry, thus presenting him in an improved light and allowing his character to develop at the expense of her own weakness. This is a feminist comment from Shelley, whose mother Mary Wollenstonecraft was a notorious feminist and an important influence. Justine, too, is an 'idealised figure', described during the trial as having a countenance which, 'always engaging, was rendered, by the solemnity of her feelings, exquisitely beautiful.' She is the archetypal innocent, being beautiful, weak and entirely accepting of her fate to the point of martyrdom. She would doubtless incense feminists now, accepting death with equanimity ' "I am resigned to the fate awaiting me" ' at the hands of misjudging and dominant men. She is a somewhat two-dimensional character, being compliant in all things, enduring the mistreatment by her mother and not objecting to the injustice of her condemnation. In this sense she serves merely as a plot device, used to introduce the evil of the creature and to show Frankenstein's cowardice in refusing to defend her in time. Here she is another feminine figure used to further a male character's development, just as Caroline was used to develop the character of Alfonse. She is also a vehicle for Shelley's attack on the contemporary judiciary system, which explains her name. The character of Safie is used by Shelley as a direct attack on sexism. Safie is a stronger character than the other women in the novel, as she defies her father in escaping to join Felix. Shelley comments upon the state of 'bondage' inflicted on females in Islamic society at the time, which Safie objects to, encouraged to 'aspire to the higher powers of intellect, and an independence of spirit' by her mother. Shelley, in applauding this determination and self-respect on the part of women, is condemning a society which oppresses females and upholds males as superior. However, Safie is not merely used for this; she is also presented as a contrast to the creature, who is similarly separated from the De Laceys by a language barrier, but who can never be accepted by them because he lacks her 'angelic beauty'. She is an example of man's intolerance towards ugliness, as her beauty transcends the barrier of language whereas the creature's benevolence cannot. Elizabeth is the most 'idealised figure' of all the women in the novel, afforded the following romantic description: 'The saintly soul of Elizabeth shone like a shrine-dedicated lamp in our peaceful home . . . her smile, her soft voice, the sweet glance of her celestial eyes, were ever there to bless and animate us. She was the living spirit of love to soften and attract.' She is here made to transcend ordinary mortality to become 'celestial' and 'saintly'. This makes her death more appalling and triggers Victor's active fury, whereas the suffering of the innocent Justine did not. The base murder of 'the living spirit of love' can be said to be the creature's revenge against humankind, as the killing of something so natural and integral to humanity kills happiness with it. But whilst Elizabeth is assigned this pivotal role in the novel, she is in herself two-dimensional as a character, having no friends outside of the family and no interests save 'trifling occupations' within the household. She is content to wait for Victor, despite his long absences and frequent and serious depressions. She is the idealised woman at the time of the novel's setting, being submissive, supportive and beautiful. However, the character of Elizabeth can also serve a further purpose. It has been argued by several critics that Elizabeth is the creature's opposite, that she and he together make up Victor. She is his good half and the creature his bad. Both characters are orphans and heavily dependent on Victor. Elizabeth is beautiful, good and female, whereas the creature is ugly, evil and male. The blending of the two create Victor, who has robbed himself of gender by assuming both parental roles. It has been suggested by one critic that Victor has feminine characteristics, being 'sensitive, passionate about literature . . . and becom[ing] enamoured with [other men's] voice[s] and feelings'. This theory can be supported, in that Victor attributes to Elizabeth the ability to 'subdue [him] to a semblance of her own gentleness'. By contrast, the creature unfailingly enrages Victor, causing him to lose self-control and become violent. Whilst the feminine roles are flat and manipulated to affect the character and actions of the male roles, the latter are considerably more defined. As Elizabeth Fay writes, Shelley shows the 'realistic weaknesses and frailties' of men in the novel. Walton is presented as sexist and selfish, mocking his sister's fears for his safety in his opening sentence: 'You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.' Margaret is an unsatisfactory audience, as he desires a companion 'whose eyes would reply to [his]'. This companion must necessarily be male, for how could a female possibly communicate adequately with him? However, despite this wish for male companionship, Walton possesses certain feminine characteristics, such as his distaste for violence: ' . . . my best years [having been] spent under your gentle and feminine fosterage, has so refined the groundwork of my character that I cannot overcome an intense distaste to the usual brutality exercised on board ship'. He writes adoringly of 'the stranger's' 'conciliating and gentle' manners, 'unparalleled eloquence', nobility and 'cultivated' mind. Walton's ambition to discover 'uncharted territories' is arrogant, as he desires to acquire 'dominion . . . over the elemental foes of our race'. He craves idolatry and power. Shelley introduces this here so that Walton's later failure towards the close of the novel is celebrated by the reader, who has understood that Victor's arrogance has caused devastation, whereas Walton has paid little heed and is bitter in his failure. Shelley is commenting on the stupidity of male hubris, which she 'sensed in the scientific ambitions of Romantics such as her husband,' as the critic James W. Maerten has suggested. Maerten writes also of Anthony Easthope, who has drawn: 'a circular fortress as a model of the . . . masculine ego. Ego . . . is entrapped in its own defences, unable to escape the barriers it has raised against a universe [which is] an enemy . . . The most praised . . . in our civilisation are those who can contain and control the most monstrous powers: biological pathogens, nuclear fission, toxic waste, vast armies. Such Promethean desires are ultimately the illusions of Icarus.' Victor's ego causes him to desire 'a new species' which would 'bless [him] as its creator and source'. He cannot control the monster that he creates, thereby losing his essential masculinity. His attempt to defy Nature and steal God's power for himself is as fatal as Icarus' stupidity in trying to do what man cannot. This male arrogance is introduced by Alphonse, who assumes the care of Caroline and renders her submissive in gratitude. The blatancy of the strong male and weak female roles here has been condemned by some, who suggest that the imposition of a male role on Victor is a form of filicide. This is responsible for his insecurity which in turn leads to his 'overreaching ego inflation'. A critic has argued that: 'Victor Frankenstein is compulsively self-destructive, driven by forces he cannot recognise to create a son by his own efforts and without the troublesome involvement of a woman . . . [upon which] he is horrified . . . and rejects the creature totally, thereby turning the son into the very monster whose existence he has always denied in himself.' It is possible to corroborate this view to some extent, as Victor's feminine qualities conflict with his identity as a man. Shelley was concerned with the issue of gender, as in her novel 'The Last Man' she created an essentially genderless character, Lionel Verney, and discussed how he only acknowledged his gender when he viewed himself in a mirror. His reflection told him that he was an English gentleman, but without this empirical perception he had no such identity. Elizabeth Fay writes of him that he is a 'feminised ideal', 'combining masculine and feminine traits in such a way as to confute traditional notions of gender'. Robert W. Anderson writes that: 'Frankenstein's creature embodies gender transgression on two levels . . . the first being [his] status as being a surgically constructed male, the second being Victor's non-gender transgression in co-opting the female trait of reproduction, transforming his laboratory into a virtual womb.' The creature has no real gender, despite being created physically as a male. He is denied male dominance over females by Victor, who has made him too ugly to be accepted into human society and then destroys the female mate that he had partially made for him. The creature, like Victor, has feminine characteristics, being profoundly affected by literature and nature, and being sensitive to emotion. He is made male only so that there can be no sexual overtones in the relationship between himself and Victor, and the battle between them can be physical and violent as well as rhetorical. The absence of femininity in the making of the creature is its integral flaw. Despite all of Victor's efforts to make the creature perfect, it will ultimately be ugly, because it is unnatural for a male alone to reproduce. Beauty cannot result of only masculinity. Shelley is condemning a single father in this. The death of her mother left her to the care of her father, whom she adored. He often neglected her, leaving her feeling unwanted. The lack of grief on the part of her husband as their babies died augmented this conviction in men's inability to care for children alone. This reinforces her message throughout the novel of the necessity for women in society. Shelley was forced to ask her husband to claim to be the author of the novel, as women were not accepted as writers at the time. Men alone in science and education are fallible, as she suggested in making Frankenstein's experiment so disastrous. Therefore the oppression of women at the time was irrational and arrogant. Frankenstein represents flawed masculinity, as an example of a society without women. Shelley manipulated masculine and feminine gender identities in her novel to try and persuade her audience that men alone cannot create, whether it be children or art.
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Shelley began writing 'Frankenstein' in the company of what has been called 'her male coterie', including her lover Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and his physician John Polidori. It has been suggested that the influence of this group, and particularly that of Shelley and Byron, affected her portrayal of male characters in the novel. As Ann Campbell writes: '[The] characters and plot of Frankenstein reflect . . . Shelley's conflicted feelings about the masculine circle which surrounded her.' Certainly the male characters in 'Frankenstein' are more developed that those of the females. Elizabeth Fay has suggested that the female...
necessity for women in society. Shelley was forced to ask her husband to claim to be the author of the novel, as women were not accepted as writers at the time. Men alone in science and education are fallible, as she suggested in making Frankenstein's experiment so disastrous.

Therefore the oppression of women at the time was irrational and arrogant. Frankenstein represents flawed masculinity, as an example of a society without women. Shelley manipulated masculine and feminine gender identities in her novel to try and persuade her audience that men alone cannot create, whether it be children or art.

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The 1st Stasimon in Sophocles' play...The 1st Stasimon in Sophocles' play 'Oedipus the King' is mainly showing the Chorus' confusion in regards to Tiresias' accusations made towards Oedipus. The Chorus seem terrified and powerless, and, like Oedipus, do not want to believe the accusations. They feel that the gods know the truth, yet will not reveal it, thus feeling as though the gods are of no real help. There are many issues and techniques to be discussed in regards to the 1st Stasimon, one of these being the significance of the section. The real significance of the 1st Stasimon is that it shows the reader how much of a respected role model Oedipus is to the community of Thebes; they will not accuse him until true proof has been revealed about the incident. This can be shown from the third quote in the 1st Stasimon handout. It reads: "No, not till I see these charges proved will I side with his accusers." This shows that the Chorus considers Oedipus to be a true leader, and hence will follow him regardless. Another factor of significance in the first stasimon is that it shows the audience how the Chorus believes that Oedipus was brought to Thebes for a reason; this being to bring joy back into the city. The fourth quote in the handout is a good example of this: "We saw him then"¦with our own eyes his skill, his brilliant triumph "“ there was the test "“ he was the joy of Thebes!" Through this quote we can see admiration shown towards Oedipus due to his defeat against the Sphinx, and ridding the city from the curse. This brought joy back into the city, and turned Oedipus into a hero. Another issue raised in the 1st Stasimon was gender representation. Gender representation played a minor role in the First Stasimon. In this section, all well respected people or gods were men; the only woman mentioned in the text was the Sphinx, whom was rather referred to as the 'she-hawk'. This can be seen in quote 7 in the 1st Stasimon handout. Hawks are considered to be evil birds, and are often in some texts considered to be possessed by the Devil, which shows that the Sphinx was not respected whatsoever, and was considered evil. Also, when the Chorus was trying to solve the question of who killed Laius, they basically ruled out the thought that the killer could be a woman. This can be seen in quote 6, which reads: "Who is the man the voice of god denounces?" This shows that nobody believes that a woman could ever have killed Laius, perhaps because physical strength would have been needed, and women were not expected to carry any physical strength. Had the chorus had thought that a woman may have killed Laius, they probably would have asked "who is the person the voice of god denounces?" The issue of Inequality of Power was also raised in the 1st Stasimon. The great gods were considered to have the highest level of power, Oedipus being next, and the prophets and seers being the lowest of powers along with the Chorus. This can be seen in quote 8 on the 1st Stasimon handout, when the Chorus was trying to prove that Tiresias could not know the real truth. Quote 8 reads: "Zeus and Apollo know, they know, the great masters of all the dark and depth of human life. But whether a mere man can know the truth, whether a seer can fathom more than I..." This shows that the Chorus feels as though seers have the same power as the chorus, and therefore would know no better. However, they also see the gods to be of high power, and so would believe anything they say. The chorus sees Oedipus to be of higher power than them, as they call him their king. This can be seen through quote 9 on the handout, which reads "Never will I convict my king, never in my heart." Another issue to be discussed in the 1st Stasimon is Accusation, Distrust and Denial. The whole Stasimon is based around the one main accusation; this being the accusation made towards Oedipus by Tiresias. The chorus is unsure of whether to believe the accusation, or to follow their king, which brings the issue of distrust into the text. The Chorus are unsure as to whether they can trust what the prophet has said to them, as they cannot see how a murder could be brought between Laius and the son of Polybus as they know Oedipus to be. This can be seen through a number of quotes within the 1st Stasimon, two of these being quotes 10 and 11 on the handout given. Quote 10 reads: "The skilled prophet scans the birds and shatters me with terror! I can't accept him, can't deny him, don't know what to say". This explains how the prophet has searched for the murderer of Laius, and has found the person to be Oedipus, which 'shatters the Chorus with terror'. The Chorus do not want to accept the prophets findings, yet cannot ignore them, and so are unsure of whether Oedipus did in fact murder Laius. Quote 11 reads: "and what could breed a blood feud between Laius' house and the son of Polybus?" This shows that the Chorus cannot see what conflict between Laius and Polybus could have ever brought upon a murder such as this, and so are once again unsure as to whether they should believe the prophet's words. The issue of Denial is brought into the first stasimon when the Chorus comes to the conclusion that they should follow their king, as they see him as a well-respected role model. Hence they wish to deny the accusations, and try to ignore the bad that has been brought upon their king. This can be shown from quote #13 on the handout, which reads: "Never will I convict my king, never in my heart." This basically shows that they will never turn upon Oedipus, and hence will deny all accusations turned to him. The role of beliefs is a very important issue in the 1st Stasimon. During the whole text of 'Oedipus the King', prophecies have always been trusted and acted upon, and never questioned. However, as the 1st Stasimon reads on, the Chorus starts to believe that what Tiresias' accusation states may not be true. The Chorus hears of the prophecy about Oedipus, yet still says that they will never convict their king, which basically shows that they are turning away from the prophecy, and are instead suggesting that the role of power in Greek society is more important than prophecies. Because Oedipus is of high power, he is respected, and the prophecies made against him are ignored. Although the prophecies are not trusted, the great gods still remain important and well trusted. The Chorus believes that the gods know the truth as to who killed Laius, yet will not reveal it. Hence the gods are not thought of as helpful to the city as they were previously considered, yet are still considered to know the truth. This can be seen through quote 15 on the handout, which reads: "Zeus and Apollo know, they know, the great masters of all the dark and depth of human life." This shows that the Chorus sees the gods as to know the 'dark and depth of all human life', yet still keep the truth hidden. Another issue discussed in the text is 'Elements of a Greek Tragedy'. Three elements of a Greek Tragedy discussed in the 1st Stasimon are hamartia, peripeteia, and nemesis. The issue of hamartia was brought into the text, as the accusation made towards the protagonist [this being Oedipus] brought a downfall of character. Oedipus was accused of killing his father, which in turn affected his loyalty and trust according to some characters. The Chorus can see the downfall of character, as described in quote 17 on the handout, which reads: "The dark wings beating around him shrieking doom, the doom that never dies, the terror"¦" This shows that the Chorus can see evil catching up on Oedipus, and bringing doom to him, which will never end. Peripeteia is mentioned, as the Chorus can see Oedipus' future changing. Oedipus has not yet been exiled from Thebes, yet the Chorus can see his luck and fame changing. This can be seen in quote 18 on the handout, which reads: "to attack his fame that rings around Thebes". This shows that the Chorus can see something [this being the accusation] changing what the community thinks about Oedipus; the accusation will attack his fame that rings around Oedipus. Like the issue of peripeteia in the 1st Stasimon, the issue of nemesis has not yet been brought up, but the Chorus can see the gods falling down on Oedipus, and can see them changing his luck to bad. This can be seen through quote 19 on the handout, which reads: "Apollo son of the Father lunges on him, lightning-bolts afire!" The Chorus can see the anger within the gods, as they hunt down on the killer of Laius, whom is Oedipus. Another point of discussion within the 1st Stasimon is the attitudes portrayed by the Chorus towards Oedipus. The Chorus gives a very loving affect/attitude towards Oedipus. They seem as though to feel sympathetic towards him, and in their hearts hope that the accusations made towards Oedipus are not true. They also show a very loyal attitude to their king, as they say that they will never side with him until real proof has been shown about the incident. The Chorus also shows admiration towards Oedipus, when describing his defeat against the Sphinx, and saved the city of Thebes from it's curse. Quotes 20, 21 and 22 on the handout relate to the attitude portrayed by the Chorus, in regards to Oedipus. Quote 20 reads: "Never will I convict my king, never in my heart". This shows the loyal and loving affect given to Oedipus, as the Chorus do not want to leave his side, even though he is accused of murder. Quote 21 reads: "No, not till I see these charges proved will I side with his accusers." This also shows loyalty and respect to Oedipus, as they are saying that they will not leave him until true proof has been revealed. Quote 22 reads: "we saw him then, when the she-hawk swept against him"¦his skill, his brilliant triumph"¦he was the joy of Thebes!" This shows the admiration shown towards Oedipus, as they admired his skill and triumph, and they basically said that he was the person who brought joy back into Thebes. Symbolism, metaphors and similes play a rather crucial role in the structure of the 1st Stasimon. The words chosen in the text help describe the occurrences, which give a deeper impact on the audience. The Chorus' speech within the 1st Stasimon is full of images of caves, darkness, lightning, and wings. By reading these terms used, the audience is given an image of darkness, the unknown, and most significantly, terror of the gods. These terms were used as to show the bad occurrences that were to come of the killer of Laius, the anger of the gods to the murderer, and also gives a more mystified approached as to who actually killed Laius. An image of darkness can be shown in quote number 23, which reads: "the dark wings beating around him shrieking doom, the doom that never dies, the terror". By reading the words 'dark', 'shrieking', 'doom', and 'terror', we are automatically given a bad feeling towards the quote, and we could sense that bad was going to come. Also, in quote 24, which reads: "Apollo son of the father lunges on him, lightning-bolts afire! And the grim unerring Furies closing for the kill.", the words 'lunge', 'lightning-bolts', 'grim', and 'furies', give yet another deep impact on the audience, and we an automatically sense the anger within the gods, and can see the desperation to catch the killer of Laius. In quote 25, which reads: "Now under bristling timber up through rocks and caves he stalks like the wild mountain bull", the words 'rocks', 'caves', 'stalks', 'wild' and 'bull' are used, which once again gives a negative impact on the audience. From these words the reader senses darkness and mystery, which gives a deep impact and further enhances the text. Metaphors and similes were used effectively when describing a variety of issues brought up in the text. A good example of this is quote 26 on the handout, which reads: "when the she-hawk swept against him". By using the word 'she-hawk' to describe the Sphinx, a bad image is instantly cast on the Sphinx, and the audience is led to think that she is evil. A good use of similes is also used when describing the killer hiding in mystery, in quote 27, which reads: "Like a wild mountain bull". By the using the word 'wild' we think of the killer being set as an outcast leaving society as to hide from the gods. Another technique to discuss in the 1st Stasimon, is diction. The diction used in the 1st Stasimon is very important. It's powerful tone and emotion emphasised the Chorus' speech, enabling the Chorus to give a large impact on the audience. By using words such as 'darkness', 'doom' and 'terror', the Chorus is able to give a dark and mysterious atmosphere to the play, whereas by using the words 'skill', 'brilliant', 'triumph', and 'joy', the Chorus sent a light and positive atmosphere to the audience. An example of powerful tone and emotion is quote 29 on the 1st Stasimon handout, which reads: "beating around him shrieking doom, the doom that never dies, the terror". By using the words 'doom' and 'terror' there is a deep and dark impact on the audience, creating a very powerful atmosphere. The last technique to discuss relating to the first stasimon is structure and syntax. The structure of the 1st Stasimon has very little difference as to the rest of the play. Some minor differences in the first stasimon is the fact that there are no stage directions etc, but this is because there is only one part in the text; no characters move during the text. There are some minor roles of sentence structure within the first stasimon, these being the use of '"¦', exclamation marks, and the use of short paragraphs. '"¦'s were used as they gave a sense of uncertainty in the text, and also shows that what the speaker is saying is not yet finished, however perhaps he/she does not know anything else to say. An example of this is quote 30 on the handout, which reads: "I cannot see what's to come, what's still to come"¦" By using the '"¦' at the end of the speech, you can sense uncertainty in the chorus, as they are unsure as to what may happen next to Oedipus, they are uncertain about his future. Exclamation marks are used to create depth in the text, and to show excitement in the speaker's voice. An example of this is quote 31 on the handout, which reads: "he was the joy of Thebes!" Through the use of the exclamation mark, you can see that the chorus is happy with what he had just spoken, as there is excitement in his words. Short paragraphs were used once again create depth. Through the use of short paragraphs, the facts are given and are to the point, which shows exactly what is needed to be said, without elaborating too much. An example of a short paragraph is quote 32 in the handout, which reads: "Cased in armour, Apollo son of the Father lunges on him, lightning-bolts afire! and the grim unerring Furies closing for the kill." As you can see, this is a very short paragraph, however simply states the anger of the gods, and shows that they are searching for the killer of Laius. The main points are spoken and are to the point, without it being too overelaborated.   

The 1st Stasimon in Sophocles' play 'Oedipus the King' is mainly showing the Chorus' confusion in regards to Tiresias' accusations made towards Oedipus. The Chorus seem terrified and powerless, and, like Oedipus, do not want to believe the accusations. They feel that the gods know the truth, yet will not...

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Losing someone who cannot be replaced...Losing someone who cannot be replaced by anyone else is harder than losing millions of dollars. I have been deep affected by my experiences learning to overcome all of the emotional disturbances, inding that there are things that cannot be forgotten, and gaining knowledge about the uniqueness of the friendship. When my best friend told me that he had lung cancer, my life changed completely. I knew was going to lose him, but I didn't know it would be so hard to overcome the feelings that he left me with. We were friends, not just regular friends, but we were best friends, which explains everything. We would do everything together, such as play soccer, play piano and guitar, walk on the street and act crazy, run away from home and hide somewhere, ditch school and throw a party on Monday. We had the best time together, but unfortunately life took all that from me. Sometimes I ask myself why it had to be him, my best friend, a person who trusted with everything, a person who knew what to do to make me happy, a person who was the best part of my life. He would give everything in order to strengthen our friendship. He was a friend who will always be in my heart. It was the night of April 14, 1999. I will never forget that day. He came to me showered in tears. He looked very sad. "What's going on, why are you so depressed?" I asked. "I'm, I'm going, and I'm going to"¦" He said slowly. He stopped talking, I didn't know what was going on in reality, but he knew it, because within the last couple of months he was having trouble breathing. That didn't bother him much until that moment when he visited a doctor. I looked at his eyes, and I saw his blue colored eyes blurring into shadows of a dream. I understood what was going on, but I didn't cry, because I knew if did, that would really hurt his feelings. I looked at him again and said, "Everything will be just fine; you just have to take proper care of yourself." Inside of me, the flame of sadness kept burning and I was barely keeping my tears from falling, but I knew I was strong enough to handle myself. That moment was followed by a joke, which I don't really remember. In order to make him laugh and make his emotions go away, I began telling some really good jokes. He started to laugh very hard, but he coughed too. That was the last time I saw him laughing that hard, that happy, that sad at the same time. On the same night I got a call from him, asking me to go and see him, because he wasn't feeling very well. We were always there for one another, so I went there. He looked all white, and his blue eyes didn't see to be very happy. I was trying to fool myself, and kept repeating in my mind that everything was going to be all right. I couldn't make myself to believe that it was really going to happen. It was 2:30am when he finally told everyone to go and leave the two of us alone. He started talking. "I know what's going to happen next, but you don't worry"¦ I'll be alright, because God is going to take care of me. And don't be sad. It's not like we're not going to see each other again?" He asked me to hold his hand hard, and he also told me that our friendship will last forever no matter what happens. He gave me a letter and said, "Whenever you feel its time to read this, just open it." I closed my eyes, and within seconds I felt his pulse stop pumping, and a dark cold ran inside of my hands. He just left everything. His blue eyes were already close, and I couldn't do anything else to make them look back at me. At that second I couldn't control myself anymore. The salty tears glided down my face. I didn't talk. I just went crazy and I started screaming, but I didn't say a word. I became crazy. I couldn't breath, because he was the air I was breathing, he was the happiness that was keeping me alive, he was the friend that I respected more tan a brother, more than anybody else. And now he's not there anymore, he's gone. It's just the letter and me"¦ Two weeks had passed after his death, and I was still depressed, angry, sick, and almost lifeless. I couldn't understand what was going on around me. Everything was an illusion. I wasn't eating, drinking, nor doing anything. For twenty-four hours I was lying on my bed, thinking about what am I going to do. I couldn't talk to anyone, because I didn't want to. I wanted to be alone all day, remember the good times we had. And I finally decided to open the letter he gave me. IN the letter he said, "Don't be silly and don't cry. I know how you fee, but you know what, you're life is not over yes. You have to understand that life is tough, and you just have to get used to it, fight it, and get whatever you want. I know that life is beautiful, and I only had a short time to experience it. You got to get yourself ready to continue your life, because only than I can look down at you with pride. You have to understand the fact that you're the person who makes everyone smile, you share their problems, understand, ad love. You have to be yourself. I will miss you, and I know you won't forget me"¦ I guess this is goodbye, but I don't want to say that, I'll just say I'll see you later bro'." After reading the letter, my heart filled with lightness. The idea of continuing my life, as he had said, gave me the power to start everything from the beginning. I learned many lessons from this event. For instance, that true friends can never be replaced by anyone else, and they're never forgotten. I understood that the friendship is a gift, and nothing in the world can come between real friendship. Yes, I had a lot of emotional disturbances within myself, but at the end, I actually understood that everything happens for a reason. I have accepted the fact that my friend is not with me anymore, but I'm sure that he will always live inside of me. As long as he's in my memories, he's part of me, and I take his presence as a source of pride.   

Losing someone who cannot be replaced by anyone else is harder than losing millions of dollars. I have been deep affected by my experiences learning to overcome all of the emotional disturbances, inding that there are things that cannot be forgotten, and gaining knowledge about the uniqueness of the friendship....

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"Truth in drama is forever elusive...."Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or shape which seems to correspond to the truth, often without realizing that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost. " --- Harold Pinter: Art, Truth & Politics The Nobel Lecture Drama comes to different people in different ways, but in Harold Pinter's case, its homecoming was something astonishingly unique & queer. Pinter was composing poetry & had never written a play when he went through an experience. No, no midsummer night's dream, but one of a very concrete commonplace character. As Pinter himself recounted once in an interview that he had entered into three different rooms at three different points of time with the insiders, not really expecting his entry & had found three different reactions from the inmates"”the first time, one of the two sitting persons had stood up, on the second occasion, both had stood up & in the third case, both had remained seated. Pinter said that it was this impression, which he could not express in terms of poetry & thereby composed his first three plays- The Room 1957, The Birthday Party 1957 & The Caretaker 1957, one after the other. The striking thing about this experience is its exploration of three composite probabilities, creating a single truth. That is precisely Pinter's journey-his perception of a singularity that is so infinitely pluralistic from within & yet impresses as a single thread. Pyrrho, a 6th century Greek philosopher had said "We are born to quest after truth; to possess it belongs to a greater power". Harold Pinter is a seeker, an adventurous traveller, engaged in the quest for that ever-elusive "greater power". And even if he fails, he certainly does "fail better", to use the Beckettian phrase. From the very outset, thus, his is a journey towards a truth or truths of some sort through the disparately peculiar human conducts, but importantly in a very definite and particular context --- definite figures in a particular room, which go on to become in Pinter's plays, a suffocating & claustrophobic embryo of human existence. But the interesting point is that Pinter always denies this take-off where the particular meets the universal, an aspect of art which others take as a major acknowledgement of their artistry. Pinter's insistence on not interpreting his characters as epitomizing universal perspectives & positions & on not decoding the situations of his plays as opening links to a timeless understanding of the problematic of life, thereby makes this search for truth, rather paradoxical. Pinter's search is thereby a search for a specific truth in a specific human condition and whether it opens up the 'magic casements' to the universal, metaphysical & eternal truth, he does not know. It is this disjunction that leads to a relentless whirlpool of conflicting truths in his plays. Pinter's interface with the dialectical dynamics of 'menace' at the gateway to 'dramatic truth' carries a wonderful mingling of 'tradition & individual talent'. On the one hand, he is very much to be seen as a product of his times with the horrid nightmares of the two world wars, transmuting the world into a 'heap of broken images' & Nietzsche declaring the god to be dead. At the same time, Pinter does not explore directly that particular world-view in abstraction. Unlike Samuel Beckett & perhaps a little like Edward Albee, Pinter prefers a non- discursive idiom & vein with figures that are strictly particular, concrete & contextualized. Samuel Beckett, in almost all his plays, initiated the plot on a specific & contextual plane of realism & modulated them draft after draft till the last produced a form of non-mimetic abstraction. Beckett wanted to create an enormously self-reflexive pattern which could hold the 'chaos' of external reality. Pinter's plays are like the very first drafts of his mentor's play-scripts. Pinter is not a John Osborne, not any Arnold Wesker either. Unlike the anger of Osborne and the propagandism of Wesker, Pinter chooses his own way of portraying reality. His aesthetics certainly takes a queue from the likes of Eliot, Joyce & Beckett, but he creates his own vein, nevertheless. Though he has been staunchly categorized as an 'absurdist', I would call him a modernist problematizer, a realist & a highly political playwright whose dramaturgy combines a Beckettian avant-garde & a Dario Fo-like zest for hardcore 'political theatre'. His vision certainly incorporates the bizarre human situations in a fragmented universe, but one gets the feeling that quite consciously he stays away from the Ionescoical brand of objectified absurdity. He opts for a more Beckettian form of it where absurdity becomes a personal expression that does not demand any universal acknowledgement. In a world of ill-timing, where memories start to fade out, Pinter's theatre, much like Jean Genet's, takes up a strictly mimetic art-form, examining both the private & the private expressions of politics. While in his early 'menace plays', Pinter treats politics as a sub-text, it surfaces & manifests itself as the primary content in his later works like The Mountain Language & One For The Road . As the title of his Nobel lecture suggests, his drama is a triplet of 'art, truth & politics', where the three components are inseparable in a latent 'room'. Pinter treats politics as a definite 'power-play' everywhere. It is there in human relationships, in religion, in human psychology, in the sexual conduct of human beings, everywhere. In 1957, David Campton coined the term "Comedies of Menace" as the subtitle of his collection of plays-The Lunatic View. In 1958, Irving Wardle applied it to Harold Pinter"s The Birthday Party 1957. Since then, 'comedy of menace' has become a typical way of designating Pinter-texts in general. But, to me, 'menace' is not just a thematic phenomenon in Pinter's plays but rather a procedural phenomenon. It is the perplexingly dialectic landscapes of 'menace' that is bound to entrance & victimize a seeker of truth. It is not located in any specific character, neither in particular situations, but all over human predicament & yet Pinter would surely deny this generalization. In The Room 1957, we are already introduced to the prevalent image-gallery of Harold Pinter ---- a smooth personal space brimming with comfort & content & yet, pregnant with the lurking forces of petrification, soon to invade it. Rose & Bert inhabit a pleasant enough room in an urban apartment, continuously referring to the shabby "other" room down there. Someone lives there but who? They do not know. They do not even want to know very eagerly. But this all-happy dream is soon threatened by the entry of two visitors from outside- Mr. & Mrs. Sanders, looking for a room in the apartment. They have been told by the undefined figure in the "other" room below that Rose & Bert"s room is empty & thereby can be taken by them. In the melodramatic climax of the play, Rose encounters the dark tenant- a blind Negro who has supposedly come as a harbinger of Rose"s father to take her back home & had been waiting for Bert to leave the room for a while, at least. The cruel killing of the Negro by Bert & Rose"s turning blind ironically at the end are a little hurried, however. Riely, the Negro, is the racial "other" but not unequivocally the instrument of "menace" as even he has to face the retaliative physical "menace" from Bert, while Riely"s "menace" is successful ,as well, as Rose is blinded soon after the murder. In Dumb Waiter 1957, Pinter comes back to this inverted & collateral discourse of "menace" "in" and "out" of a "room". Gus & Ben, the two killers, awaiting their victims in a narrow room, dictated by the presence or absence of some alien upland-instructors, turn mutually "menacing" for each other, at the end. The insructors at the top communicate through a huge rambling pipe that, in course of the play, almost becomes a modern variation of the Delphic oracle. Gus & Ben are "waiters" both because they "wait" & also as they act as "waiters", sending food to the people at the dark upper-floor through a huge & complicated "liver"machine. The two awaiting oppressors get separated at the end; one, maturing into a 'victimizer' & the other, reduced to just a 'victim'. Their contra-positioning with the great dictators upstairs, thus, operates as an interaction of two truths, which are not mutually exclusive but rather inclusive & therefore menacingly open-ended. In The Birthday Party 1957, Pinter presents to us, the ineffectually casual and oblivious Stanley, living as a tenant under the care of Meg & Petey. Stanley is motiveless & stagnant, looking for his real identity & the disparately lost melodies, within the bounded four walls of that house. But, still one feels that he has somehow managed to cling on to the immediate reality, for the time being. It is a very limited & meager truth he has somehow got hold of. But, sardonically enough, 'the house is on the list'& Goldberg & Maccan arrive abruptly as intrusions of an inexorable destiny, a fatal universality to celebrate Stanley's tentative birthday & eventually only to menace him with dreams of external establishment & an exposure into the vastly varying outer reality. These dreams thus hold their counter-textual nightmares in themselves that rip Stanley, even off his language---"Uh gug... uh-gug... eeehhh-gag"¦Caahh"¦ caahh...". Stanley's manipulation of a roomful of truth is thereby counter pointed, challenged & teased by a world, full of elusive truths that Goldberg & Maccan represent. And resultantly, the truth of the moment really slips out & is lost forever"”Stanley's specs are broken & his drum, affected. As he is taken away by Goldberg & Maccan, Petey says-"Stan, don"t let them tell you what to do!". Stanley"s individual immunity system collapses under paradigmatic impositions of the world outside. The play, therefore taps a veritably political sub-text that explores the pro-establishment forces of social comodification that ruin the creative recluse of the individual. Pinter's vision of a sadistic police-state is also signified in Goldberg & Maccan. Pinter may deny the representation, but here, it is this representation, that clarifies his vision of truth or truths, for that matter. The 1981 BBC-play Family Voices seems to be a post-script of The Birthday Party. The play, written in a unique epistolary form, is a dialogue between Voice 1, a son who has gone away from Voices 2 & 3 who are his parents. The son now inhabits a strange apartment with quite uncanny shadows, impressing him as his "other" or rather "real" family. He decides not to come back even as the mother informs her illness & the demise of his father. Towards the end, the dead father's voice invades as Voice-3, writing from the "glassy grave". The mother warns that she would unveil the son, working as a male-prostitute. He is all of a sudden coming back to his family. The play ends on a note of typically Pinteresque ambivalence, with the voice of the father saying-"I have so much to say to you. But I am quite dead. What I have to say to you will never be said." I think we can examine the three voices as Stanley, Petey & Meg. Petey had said at the end of The Birthday Party -"Stan, don"t let them tell you what to do!" Here Voice-1 had let them do just that. Pinter uses the radio-medium brilliantly to create an extremely elliptical texture where very little communication is possible. Thus the Voices remain within the respective enclosures of their own experiences, with very few interceptions. "Dialogues" are often reduced to "monologues", but not even absolutely unheard "soliloquies", & perhaps it is in this "faintness" of communication, that Pinter looks for the truth of a "real language", which remains an eldorado. The Caretaker 1957 is yet another play, which justifies what Pinter wrote in 1958:- "There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false." The promises of Aston & Mick, made to Davies, turn out to be an exemplification of this transfiguration of truth into falsity and vice versa. They withdraw their promises of making Davies the caretaker, at the end, only to menace him disastrously. The designation of 'caretaker' remains, an elusive & illusory promise only made & not realized"”a kind of general truth that is only anticipated & not comprehended ultimately. But Davies's menacing quest for that truth does not die down. It continues as he 'waits for the weather to break' so that he can go to Sidcup in order to fetch papers that would prove his real identity, yet another of those unattainable universal truths. Aston keeps on trying to build a shed, on his own, in the garden premises. It is another instance of a compromise with contextually limited truth, far away from the ones in the remote horizons of the universe. A 'menace' of exploitation had indeed fallen upon him when he had perhaps undergone that universal voyage towards the truth of the world, as revealed through his long speech in Act ii Sc ii --- "I should have been dead. I should have died"¦" The dreadful experience had turned him perennially to stringently contextual truths. And that to Pinter is perhaps the inevitable human destiny. Pinter wrote a short story called Tea Party in 1963 & when asked to write a play for the European Broadcasting Union, he made a play out of it. The play, also called Tea Party, is a sort of extension of the "menace" theme we have seen in The Birthday Party. Disson, a successful business-man starts to lose his pre-dominance over the state of matters with his marriage to Diana & the appointment of his new secretary Wendy--hardly causes for his decline of power. His blurring eyesight is not a self-sufficient objective phenomenon, but rather an index to his existential crisis--a growing inability to interpret experience. In the climactic tea party, held to celebrate his marriage-anniversary, Disson"s alienation is masterfully sub-textualised by Pinter without a single dialogue on his part or any other external comment. His failing eyes, his "point of view" just keeps on staring at the various groups flocked together, doing various things, which, he is not a part of! It is this hurled non-involvement that makes him "menaced" at the end. 'Menace' becomes a set of truths, one may ignore, but certainly cannot deny. In the typical Ionescoical mode of role-reversals and invertions in power-equations, Pinter comes up with another gripping discourse of "menace" in A Slight Ache 1958, where it is all splendidly pleasant in the lovely nursery until & unless the mysterious match-seller appears at the gate to stay there for months without selling a single match-box to anyone! The match-seller, throughout the play, does not have a single dialogue, but acts as the dominant tool to de-centralize the patriarch Edward in the garden-house as he is brought in & interrogated by the husband & the wife. The match-seller is incorporated within the course of things with the father-like veneration & attention that he gets from the womanFlora in the house & the play ends with the obvious hurly-burly of the domestic power-equation as the match-seller goes in with the woman, leaving the husband rather non-plussed with the sodden match-tray lying by his side. Does this imply a permanence of "menace" or the husband does stand in with a chance of a comeback, loitering, lingering, lurking, alluring & eventually menacing the original match-seller as the second of his kind? The same pattern of a "marginal" force dislodging the centre & thus reducing it to an illusion of self-importance, recurs in The Basement 1967, where this de-centralizing "menace" acquires a more distinctly sexual character. Throughout the play, Pinter dabbles with the antithesis between the "interior" & the "exterior". Stott, the long-parted friend of the owner Law of the basement-room, comes in, all of a sudden, with his conspicuous friend Jane. The two hatch a plot against Law to throw him out with the woman playing the typical role of erotic manipulator. Law, thus, at the end of the play, stands only at the "exterior", trying to enter into the ever-deluding "interior" of existence. But interestingly enough, Pinter curves out a very different treatment of this "menace" theme in Victoria Station 1982. The play is about a routed controller having only driver-274 to do a job that of going to Victoria Station to fetch someone from there. They never see each other in course of the action. Driver-274 does not know the way to Victoria station & has a passenger in the "dark park" beside. Yet he insists that he is the only person who can be entrusted. Others have all deserted the controller. The play concludes with the controller, deciding to go and meet the driver in the car below his office, forgetting all about the reception-assignment in Victoria station. Pinter resolves the plot uniquely, with a break of the hierarchy. Here the "controller", initially seeming to be a punitive instructor, is led to a dark & painful self-examination. And at the end, it is the controller who seems to be oblivious & "menaced", not tragically like Stanley, but with a peculiar comicality. Is it indicative of a role-reversal between the 'controller' & the "driver"? But the ambiguity remains in the possibility of the controller, coming down only to persecute & punish the driver. In all these plays, Pinter is working out his power-dialectic which revolves around a conflict between central & marginal forces. In his world, centre & margin keep replacing each other. This mutual substitution, however, does not end unilaterally as there is always a chance of the dislodged centre bouncing back. Pinter believes in the old proverb-'Power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely'. In its dynamism, Pinter's political paradigm always averts chances of absolutism. His truth is not static, but an ever-moving series of images that keep turning inside out. In Hothouse written in 1958, but performed for the first time in 1980, the truth of the sane world is turned inside out as the madhouse proves to be truer, while in The Night School 1960, the "unreal" truth of a woman Sally, who goes to a night-school to study various languages, penetrates into the real truth of a woman who works in a night-club. In The Dwarfs 1960, the process that leads to a clear explication of that universal cognition turns out to be a process of self-affectation with the infective dwarfs menacing the operator himself as Len says-"The point is who are you? Not why or how, not even what....You are the sum of so many of reflections. How many reflections? Whose reflections? Is that you consist of?" 1961 sees the production of A Night Out, a play that deals with the so very subjectivised "truth" of a mother-son relationship in Mrs Stokes & Albert. Pinter"s journey towards that all-desired "existential liberation" is essayed through Albert, his frustrated hero, living with a set of "dead" people. His father & grandmother are literally dead while Mrs Stokes is metaphorically dead in a nagging persistence of obsession & disbelief, about Albert. Though, Pinter"s protagonist, for a change, is out in the night & away from the terrifying constriction of spaceless rooms, the space still keeps on crippling as he becomes part of another room of a party-celebration & gets charged with false allegations of a sexual assault. He has to return to his mother"s room, only to get out again, & again only to enter into yet another room, this time that of a seeming prostitute. But the icons turn all the more blurred as the prostitute"s words reinforce the image of a struggling mother, rearing her daughter with great pain. As she turns out to be just an extension of Mrs Stokes"s monotonously meandered syntax, Albert feels the "menace" & starts exercising a violent power-equation with her. When he comes back to his mother at the end of the play, not much seems to have changed. Mrs. Stokes"s dead words keep flowing, may be with a restoration of faith in Albert, but still emanating the same maddenig silence from him. The mother & the whore prove to be the same, the inside & the outside, same again. The play leaves Albert on the threshold of an exit-door that is reduced to a sad entrance into another pitiably shortening human-space. Albert"s "night out", thereby, is well within an endless series of interlocked rooms, each bigger & yet smaller than the other! In The Lover 1962, the iconic social differences between the married wife & the 'elegant' whore, between the socially accepted husband & the widely denied external lover, all turn blurred. They all become the same again to mock at traditionally accepted universal truths as they subvert radically at the face of a linguistic & textual identicality. Pinter"s most stage-successful play The Homecoming 1967, for which he also won The Drama Critcs" Circle Award on Broadway, is a part of an evident movement in Pinter that of trying to make his plays much more directly truthful & responsive, socially. Max is a dyspeptic old father with three sons & a dead wife & as Teddy returns home with his wife Ruth, he is like an outsider who creates a discord in the synchronized stagnancy of the Max-household. Ruth becomes a mystically plausible figure of sexual extensity- a mother to the sons, a wife to Max, coming back years after death, as it were. Teddy goes back to the American university, where he teaches Philosophy, with Ruth staying back as a strumpet, as a veritable source of income for the financially enfeebled family. Pinter de-ionizes the "mother" & the "strumpet", in an outburst of an "id" that disowns any restraint of any kind of "super-ego". In this very bold exploration of the truth or the truths of sexual drives which break their patriarchal pre-suppositions, Pinter, however obliquely, does place the theme of "menace" from its early psychological & philosophical realm to an overcharged social context as the woman takes over--Ruth replacing Max in the all-coveted centre-chair of the patriarchal monarch, with all the three male figures subdued under her dominance. Pinter shows his faculty as a deceptive poet in plays like, Landscape 1968, Silence 1969 or Night 1969. Pinter, in these plays goes into the Freudian psyche only to explore a widely multi-linear & thereby curiously ambivalent world of human memory. He renders an essentially de-constructive discourse of time, not seeing time objectively, but capturing an acute sense of its lethal passage, from within the human mind. Like Hamm & Clov in Samuel Beckett"s famous play Endgame 1958, or Vladimir & Estragon in Beckett"s Waiting for Godot , Pinter"s characters are lost in the "vertical time" of Zeno. They are caught in the in-between waste land that separates Past from Future. They can neither get back to their past, nor can they escalate to their future, being incapable of any mobility whatsoever. The time, within one individual never becomes the time within another. It is this ever-changing "montages" of time, different in different persons that takes Pinter on the border-line of that quest for "dramatic truth", only to discover its misleading multiplicity, as Jean Genet was to call it 'truth', just a 'word' exclusively, nothing else perhaps ! Pinter once wrote a little poem on the cricketer Len Hutton:-"I saw Len Hutton in his prime/Another time/Another time." In these so-called "memory plays", we do get a good deal of that "prime", but the "prime" is ironised at the same time because it belongs to "another time"- one other time & not the time, which grows in & on us perpetually. Landscape reads perfectly like a Freudian dream & Pinter uses some of the dream symbols prescribed by Freud such as 'dresses' for 'nudity' etc. The play is about the relationship between the middle-aged couple, Beth & Duff as the two sit in the kitchen of a large country house. They talk about their interaction, which has now become a thing of the past. Why is Beth so withdrawn? Is it just because of Duff"s adulteries of youth? Alternatively Beth may have herself been the lover of their employer in that country-house-- Mr. Stykes, who is dead now. The play, offers us with the discord between two minds in the present because of a third & that too in & of the past! It is an index of a peculiarly undefined & enigmatic conjugal relationship, created & uncreated at the same time. And the void is, as always, crafted by time & its agent--the dumb forgetfulness of death. Silence is a play where the playwright really seems to be dead! The play revolves around Ellen, a young girl & two middle aged men-- Rumsey & Bates. The stage is divided into three principal areas with one chair in each & the three begin by talking to themselves. But soon their self-talks turn into interactions. After espousing distinctly separate vistas of memory, they try to conjoin them in a triangular experience. But the experience is never de-fragmented & leads to its anarchic climax where the three stories are confused. They are confused because of the very intention to integrate them in a single whole. Dialogues turn into monologues and it all recedes into the darkest of silences. In this silence there is no need to communicate & yet there is one. Perhaps only to judge the silence in its true self, words are needed, a "linguistic other" is needed. But those words only exist to rehabilitate the eternal silence at the core of human existence. Beckett had said in Molloy, "To restore silence is the voice of objects." A true Beckettian at heart, Harold Pinter throughout his drama seems to be a man on a mission to restore that eternal human silence. Ellen"s lines stay back with us---"....Is it me? Am I silent or speaking? How can I know? Can I know such things? No-one has ever told me. I need to be told things.....I must find a person to tell me these things." In Night, for once, unlike his usual particularity, Pinter, quite consciously creates a universal figure of the two sexes in the "man" & the "woman" who talk about their past loves, their selves undergoing radical changes in course of the temporal flux. It is again all about a discordant evocation of two pasts, logically meant to be one, but is not so in reality. In A Kind of Alaska 1982, which is inspired by Oliver Sacks"s Awakenings 1973, Pinter represents the 1916-1917 epidemic named Encephalitis Lethargica resulting in delirium, mania, trances, coma, sleep, insomnia etc. The subject again gives Pinter a scope to examine the sub-merged world of the human unconscious & explore the veracity of human memory. Deborah, waking up after twenty-nine long years is confronted with Pauline, supposedly her sister & Pauline"s husband Hornby. She hardly remembers her past & all the recollections, leading to her identity are imposingly proposed by Hornby & the proposals involve a great deal of self-importance as well as a patriarchally oriented erotic overtone. Deborah can only know from "others", her own "truth", that of time past, which carries her "self" in it. Pinter again journeys towards a lost & dislocated "truth" of Deborah"s existence. Unfortunately, whatever revived is strongly manipulated by the power-dynamics, mastered by Pauline & Hornby. Deborah can only stare at the fragments of an impositional fabric of "truth", where she is not left with the choice to verify them-"You say I have been asleep. You say I am now awake. You say I have not awoken from the dead. You say I was not dreaming then & I am not dreaming now. You say I have always been alive & am alive now. You say I am a woman." The oft-used Pinteresque motif of a birthday-celebration crops up. Deborah submits to the narratives of Hornby & Pauline, apparently being content with the way her "self" has been depicted by the two & seems to find her niche at the end-"I think I have the matter in proportion. Pause Thank you." Pinter"s end-note here seems to be one of an uncharacteristically unique reconciliation. But who knows, this all-good note of deterministic acceptance may carry a sinister under-taste of self-mockery; a self-mockery where the seeming conformity towards the "projected truth" is distinctly denied! With Old Times 1971, the lyrical cris-crosses of memory start to peep in. The play carries through a complex dilemma between the subjective & the objective. Is Anna really present outside the window or is she merely a fantastic emanation of Deeley & Kate as they talk about her supposed arrival? This is a play that starts to deal with the ambiguity of memory & all its preserved sense-impressions. This motif reaches a kind of fruition in the trampish figure of Spooner in No Man"s Land 1975 as on a drunken night, he enters the house of Hirst, much like Davies in The Caretaker. But what follows makes very clear, the drift in Pinter"s perceptive responses. No Man"s Land takes us back into a past of awe & glory, a past that differs individually- Spooner & Hirst keep on disagreeing as the vastly different pasts coalesce into a future, or just a "walking shadow" of it as it turns out to be a cul-de-sac, a no-man"s land between the verbal & the non-verbal, between life & death. It is a lifeless existence & yet devoid of death like Hamm"s or Clov"s in Beckett"s Endgame 1957, but certainly lacking the note of Beckettian dejection or rather supplementing it with a subversively witty realization & acceptance of the condition. Largely inspired by James Joyce"s only play Exiles, Betrayal begins with the couple, Emma & Robert, on the brink of separation & recedes from time present 1977 to time past 1968 through to its end. A serious statement on the urban sexual manners, the play captures a wonderfully open web of human relationships. Robert & jerry are best of friends. Jerry has been the best man in Robert"s marriage & he has had a steady affair with Robert"s wife Emma from that time & that too very much in the sanction of Robert, as the final scene mystically recollects. There is a hint of the homo-erotic in the relationship between Robert & Jerry & Jerry"s relationship with Emma is seen by Robert as a means to take their friendship to its peculiar fruition , thereby trying to keep Jerry at hand, always. Robert, however, has had affairs with other women as well, for which the marriage is currently on the rocks. Jerry has his own family, while his references to the children of Emma & Robert still contain a curious psycho-sexual innuendo. Pinter mocks at the title, as it were, by naturalizing all sorts of traditionally perceived deviations from the societal norm of relationships. It hardly turns out to be a betrayal as his characters go far beyond the yardstick of a collective social morality. The family voices re-unite more powerfully in Moonlight 1993 where Pinter sketches a strange malady of the mind as we see a gripping vision of a fractured family, awaiting the death of its ruling patriarch Andy, with the two sons caring a fig for the demise. It is a death like many other deaths, like all other deaths! Here ends it all & what survives is the dimmed "moonlight", like the sound of the footsteps in Beckett"s Footfalls 1976. The play culminates in the hazy world of a personal memory, which seems to be potent enough to become yet another future for yet another time as Bridget keeps on waiting ---"I stood there in the moonlight and waited for the moon to go down." Party Time, performed in 1991 for the first time deserves a mention separately. The play is another great evidence of the diverse strands of Pinter"s genius. It is a sarcastic rehash of Restoration Comedy of Manners, chiefly recalling Congreve"s crisp & smart wit & repartee & Wycherley"s cynical vision of humanity. A gala party is taking place within a metropolitan elite club, with the outer world in utter dismay. The party, therefore, belongs to a particularly self-centred aloofness to an annihilated mankind in a banal world-order. While Beckett in Endgame showed a similarly destroyed & soulless exterior of the world, his "interior" was also "supped full of horrors'. But, Pinter, in this play, draws the "interior" in an antithetical image of enjoyment & carousal, though the images of the void outside intermittently invade into the private space of the "party", only to connect it with the gutted infinitude outside. At the end of the play, as the party comes to a close & the people disperse, Jimmy, a young man, absent thus-far, comes out of the light to stand at the doorway. Jimmy"s speech indicates a trying desperation for a poignantly real communication- a socially provoking & critically concrete "meaning", which is deferred all the while. Jimy seems to be lost in a silent darkness. It fills his mouth & he can only "suck" it, in a maze of incomprehensible "impressions" that do not lead to self-sufficient "ideas". So, for a change, Pinter turns the perspective inside out by shifting it from his recurrently used image of the "room" to the "other rooms outside". Jimmy becomes a representative voice of that 'other'. But, his "truth" remains "menaced" nevertheless, despite an articulation or perhaps just because of the articulation itself! Once after seeing an initial production of The Birthday Party, in the theatre, a woman wrote to Pinter:-"Dear Sir, I would be obliged if you would kindly explain to me the meaning of your play The Birthday Party. These are the points which I do not understand: 1.Who are the two men? 2. Where did Stanley come from? 3. Were they all supposed to be normal? You will appreciate that without the answers to my questions I cannot fully understand your play." Pinter"s reply was: - "Dear Madam, I would be obliged if you would kindly explain to me the meaning of your letter. These are the points which I do not understand: 1.Who are you? 2. Where do you come from? 3. Are you supposed to be normal? You will appreciate that without the answers to my questions I cannot fully understand your letter." Pinter, in rephrasing the question in the context of an answer, again probably implied the inversiveness of truth & also the problem and yet the compulsion of taking his characters Stanley, Goldberg, Maccan as photographic truths of a perceptible outer reality. Pinter, quite deliberately, breaks away from the Ibsenite mould of dramatic dialogue, where the characters always speak about great issues, socio-political & economic matters. Pinter keeps his dialogues rather naturalistic. Whether it is Dumb Waiter or The Birthday Party, for that matter, his characters hardly discuss such grave & important matters. Food seems to be a recurrent talking point with Pinter's characters. In The Birthday Party , the conjugal relationship between Meg & Petey has been portrayed & critiqued at the same time almost exclusively by the means of such references to food- prepared & served. Pinter's characters fumble; remain silent, sometimes even incomplete, in terms of sense. His language, thronged with those 'silences', 'pauses'& three dots "¦ moves accordingly, stilted & impeded in search of the truth of the language. All through the Pinter-canon, we find excommunication & equivocation. Language is political but more diplomatic are his pauses & silences. Language is not just a medium for Pinter. He uses it as a theme, not with the mythical effect of Samuel Beckett, but in the domain of his own familiarized contextualism. Pinter's projected human being is a "poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more." Margaret Atwood links Pinter's use of silence with the figure of Abraham in Kierkegaard's essays & establishes it as the primary text in what is called Pinteresque today. Atwood says "Abraham is ordered by God to cut his only son's throat. In the face of this cruel and unnatural request, Abraham does not protest. Neither does he agree. He is silent. But it is a huge surprise with a haunting echo. One of these echoes is Pinter --- the silences of Pinter. Reverberating silences. Pinteresque. " In One For The Road 1984, Pinter depicted an evidently political scenario representative of an absolutist state with Nicholas, interrogating Victor, who is the defeated captive. We come across an exclusively verbal side of "menace" in its political topicality. It is not that the questions asked by Nicholas to Victor are not answered because of the pressure over Victor. Those questions are causally & linguistically unanswerable e.g. Nicholas asks Gila Victor"s wife repeatedly, why she had met Victor at a place for the first time? The play may not stand out as an artwork of complete appeal, but it certainly depicts the dramatist's inherent skepticism about language, a minimalist inclination as even Beckett had imbibed from Fritz Mauthner. In his 1988-play, The Mountain Language, Pinter again works out a linguistic equation, interlaced with political connotations of dictatorial power & authority. He talks about a mountain dialect, being forbidden to the mountain woman who comes to see his son, imprisoned in a jail in the capital. We see how language becomes a tool of colonial oppression. Pinter concludes with a brilliant twist, implying a vast dynamic of linguistic politics, within which, even an allowance to speak the 'mountain language', at the end, comes as a pre-destined protocol, imposed by the 'big brothers' of the system. But, then again, if one starts to categorize him, Pinter shows again in Ashes to Ashes , how non-topical and non-immediate he can be, in a fundamentally political play about the Nazi horrors in the 2nd World War. He uses the echoes of Rebeca"s words in her final speech to evoke a substitution of the man Devlin she was talking to thus-far. The brilliant use of this device becomes more relevant because the man is also a sort of echo from Rebeca"s past, turning out to be that vaguely defined lover & strangulator whom Rebeca"s words had been referring to from the beginning. The child is taken away from her to be killed mercilessly & she also disowns the fact that she ever had a child! Is this abnormal maternal response a satire, an authentic shock-reaction or "menace" or a way to put an end, put an end to childbirth, put an end to Beckett"s vision of the "accursed progenitor" altogether. We see a "menace" in the outer-world in Ashes to Ashes ,but again unlike the chiefly objectified Rhinoceritis in Eugene Ionesco"s Rhinoceros 1958, the "menace" in Pinter is conveyed through very lyrical nuances e.g. the comparison between a godless universe & a Brazil-England encounter without a single soul in the stadium. In this supposed relegation of god to a mere spectatorial presence, lies the "menace" of things falling apart. Pinter's "dramaticules", to use the Beckettian term, namely Precisely 1983 & The New World Order 1991 are also replete with polemical overtones of victimization. Pinter observed, in course of his Nobel lecture: - "When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimeter and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror- for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us." Pinter certainly shows us no single accurate reflection of truth but an abruptly modulating vista of relative and disorganized truths. But does he succeed in breaking the mirror itself, which is supposed to put an end to all reflected images & focus the real object, the ultimate truth itself? Even if he does so, the truth would only stare at the audacity of the seeker; it would not be any appreciative glance. And the 'stare' would perhaps negate the attainment. So can we really say that the 'menacing' cross-passage comes to its destination with the smashing of the mirror? Or does the breaking of the mirror symbolize the end of the world"”the Judgment Day. And it all ushers into a new world of 'Nohow On', to use the phrase of Samuel Beckett. Our task is cut out. As Pinter says, 'The search is your task.' Is it not becoming a universal symbolization? Pinter would disagree. So let us keep our fingers crossed as Pinter's narrative quips in a tone of marvelous aesthetic egotism in The Homecoming 1967 --- "You wouldn't understand my works. You wouldn't have the faintest idea of what they were about." I do not know if the "faintest idea" is gathered from this one; one about Pinter. If not, it is certainly for the better & most importantly to his own liking. Let us read Pinter all over again, enjoy the man all over again, without caring for "idea" or "ideation" for that matter. After all as he says that he does not write for anything external, but only for himself. Let us read him only for ourselves likewise. Pinter, at this point of time, is suffering from severe throat-cancer & one does not know, how soon the time of the final "betrayal" would come. He may not live on, but he will certainly "die on"to use Beckett"s phrase again in our worlds of memory which he hardly believes in its linear simplistic topography. Let us end this discussion with one of Pinter"s own poems--- a poem, which I feel, would certainly stimulate him till his last breath in the quest for a menacing truth :- I know the place It is true Everything we do Corrects the space Between death and me And you. --------Harold Pinter--------  

"Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an...

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In 1692, the Salem Village of...In 1692, the Salem Village of Massachusetts fell victim to an outbreak of mass hysteria caused by a fear of witchcraft. This fear of witchcraft was caused by a small group of girls who accused innocent people of the village of being under the influence of the devil and harming them with spells of witchcraft. How would a town so concerned with religion react to such crazy accusations? Arthur Miller describes such reactions to these in The Crucible. In this story Miller describes how different people having different perspectives on the events handle this type of hysteria. Some people join the afflicted girls and participate in the hysteria out of fear for their lives. Others grow suspicious and try to find an explanation on how honest these girls, or "victims", are in accusing them otherwise innocent people of witchcraft, if witchcraft is even the cause of the girls' hysteria. Arthur Miller writes the play to demonstrate that human nature is actually good regardless of how easily humans can be influenced by the spread of evil. Miller illustrates how pressure created by fear, intolerance, and frustration can cause people to accept their personal responsibilities. Although fear often drives people away from their responsibilities in the story, it is shown that a person's fear can push him to realize and accept his purposes and responsibilities. John Proctor, a main protagonist in the story, realizes how dangerous the witchcraft accusations are when the court officials arrest his wife, Elizabeth, for witchcraft and attempted murder: "'"¦The little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!"¦I'll not give my wife to vengeance!''' Miller 77. John Proctor is fearful for his wife. Before his wife was arrested, John was really unaware of the extent of danger behind the accusations of witchcraft in the village. At first, he feels suspicious about the hysterical girls' behavior, but the fact that the trials did not directly affect his family makes him handle the events less seriously. Elizabeth's arrest was a wake up call for John because now he is alert and aware that the witchcraft accusations must be stopped because innocent people are being put to death. As he reacts to his wife's arrest, he makes a very important decision. It is up to him to protest against the ongoing trials because no one else will. He then discovers that Mary Warren, the family's servant knows much about the trials because of her role as a officer of the court. "'You're coming with me, Mary, you will tell it in the court"¦We will slide together into our pit; you will tell the court what you know.''' 80. John discovers that Mary knows that he witchcraft accusations are false. He thin comes to this decision that it is his responsibility, as well as Mary Warren's, to tell the court that the hysteria in Salem is based on lies and false accusations. It is because of a fear for Elizabeth's life that John realizes his individual responsibility to save his wife, as well as to protect other innocent people from being accused and sentenced to death. The story shows that frustration can not only cause a person to deny responsibility for an action, but also that it can cause a person to realize his errors and take responsibility to redeem himself as a good person, as Reverend John Hale demonstrates in the play. Reverend Hale first enters the play as a person who is called upon the village of Salem to find a cure for the illnesses caused by the witchcraft. He looks at his calling as a "beloved errand for him; on being called here to ascertain witchcraft he felt the pride of the specialist whose unique knowledge has at least seen publicly called for" 33. He takes his calling as a compliment, thinking that the people of Salem look up to him as a savior bearing good gifts of knowledge. Hale's reputation and his need for respect thrives on the knowledge based on his reading. Therefore, he comes to believe that the answers to all problems come from reading books. Later on in the play, he questions the honesty behind the girls' accusations because of their peculiar behavior and the unfairness of the court officials toward the accused. Hale could not find a cure in his books to prevent witchcraft and soon came to realize that the witchcraft involved in the trials are fake. After struggling with the court officials to understand his views on his trials, he becomes very frustrated and quits the court. He later comes to realize his errors in finding his personal responsibilities and tries to prevent everyone else from doing the same thing: "'Let you not mistake your duty as I mistook my own"¦beware"¦cleave to no faith when faith bring blood"' 132. He finds that his books and his knowledge based on them have misled him, thinking that they held solutions to the problems in Salem. He now looks into his own heart for the solutions to the cause of the trials, and he does what he can to save the accused from falling victim to the injustices of the court. His frustration in trying to reason with court officials about the trials opens Hale's eyes and make him realizes that it his duty to stop the courts from killing innocent people. Further in the play, more personal responsibilities are revealed, as shown by Proctor when he is angered at the intolerance of Danforth, a man of high authority in Salem. Deputy Governor Danforth is a very serious court official who does not let anything "interfere with an exact loyalty to his position and cause" 85. It is because of his relation with the law that he comes to believe it is his duty to enforce the law of Salem. A person of his stature would not want to believe John Proctor's explanation of the dishonesty behind the accusations of witchcraft because it would be an insult to the judicial system of Salem. This story would go against the law that Danforth stood for and supported. John senses that Danforth is a very intelligent man who knows much about the lies behind the witchcraft accusations, but his loyalty to the court prevents him from believing them. His duty as a court official prevents Danforth from realizing his responsibility to aid John in protesting against the witchcraft accusation. He tells him of his misguidance and shows him what his real purpose in the village must be: "'For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all you black hearts that his fraud"”God damns our kind especially"¦and we will burn together!"' 120. John Proctor realizes that it is their responsibility to bring the people out of ignorance and realize that the hysteria that the girls started is based on lies. It seems that john Proctor told Danforth that his loyalty to the court is misleading him to support the young girls in Salem. The development of John Proctor and Reverend Hale's insight into the witchcraft trials shows how their duties and responsibilities was revealed to them through fear, intolerance, and frustration brought by the outbreak of hysteria in Salem of 1692. In a way, Arthur Miller displays how humans can find their mistakes and learn from them, thus revealing the overall goodness of humankind. Miller wrote this play as a way of warning people how mass hysteria can come about. The play is not only written as a plea against the Red Scare of the McCarthy Era, but as a warning to the public that people must realize and accept their responsibilities so that another outbreak of hysteria will not transpire. Ignorance as well as prejudice, is the cause of outbreaks of hysteria in Salem and in McCarthy Era. It is apparent that another outbreak of hysteria involves segregation of gay, lesbians, and ethnic minorities. People falsely accuse innocent people of being evil out of ignorance and fear, thinking that their beliefs are somewhat strange and even wrong. Arthur Miller wants us to realize our responsibilities, as Proctor and Hale have done, and do what is morally right. Miller's play, The Crucible, asks one important question to the reader: Can the people of this present day generation see past the ignorance and prejudice found in today's society and accept their own responsibilities so no more acts of injustice develop again?   

In 1692, the Salem Village of Massachusetts fell victim to an outbreak of mass hysteria caused by a fear of witchcraft. This fear of witchcraft was caused by a small group of girls who accused innocent people of the village of being under the influence of the devil and harming...

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