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The philosophy of Pinter

            Speaking of his plays, Pinter has said, "we cannot understand other people; we cannot even understand ourselves; the truth of any situation is almost always beyond our grasp.".
             Discuss the relevance of this statement to Pinter's treatment of character and situation in each of the specified plays.
             Harold Pinter's plays have puzzled critics from their first showing to the most recent adaptations. Pinter's plays remain an enigma, like the man himself, who refuses to be specific about his play's meanings. His ambiguous quote above is such a comment and is particularly relevant to both his plays "The Homecoming" and "The Caretaker" in regard to his treatment of character and situation.
             The quote shares many connections to Pinter's treatment of character in the two plays. In "The Homecoming" characters are forever contradicting themselves throughout the play. It is more than likely that Pinter deliberately made these characters this way. In relation to his comment on how "we cannot understand people", his treatment of character in regards to making them hypocritical is particularly apt. Pinter is perhaps alluding to the fact that we can never really know exactly how or what a person thinks. Their communication with us is perpetually tainted by thoughts and doubts in their mind. Pinter could be picking up on how our society is filled with people who say one thing but mean another. They may do this because their scared of rejection - Davies" promises to get down to Sidcup, or because their trying to impress somebody - Lenny's change in vocabulary to complex philosophical phrases when trying to impress Teddy. An example of a particularly self contradicting character is Max in "The Homecoming". The finest example of his hypocrisy is when he talks about his deceased wife. At first he describes her in a hateful and bitter manner at the beginning of the play:.
             "She wasn't such a bad women. Even though it made me sick just to look at her rotten stinking face, she wasn't such a bad bitch.

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