Socio-Historical Reading of Harold Pinter's The Room from Georg Lukács’ Perspective
Keywords:comedy of menace, Georg Lukács, Harold Pinter, Historical Drama, Mass-reproduction, Resistance
Considered by critics the earliest example of Harold Pinter's "comedy of menace", The Room is Harold Pinter's first play, written and first produced in 1957. Although stylistic features of the play have been studied by many scholars, socio-historical readings of the play have been neglected. In this article, a new approach of reading will be suggested that considers social and historical elements of the play, in addition to the form and stylistic features. Using Georg Lukács’ theories regarding historical drama, this research aims to show how Harold Pinter’s The Room depicts capitalistic reproduction and social threats the working class faces in a world that forces classes to engage in the internal social competition, where one always is doomed in falling out of socio-economical order. Although Lukács bases the definition of the historical novels on Shakespearean’s historical dramas, it will be showcased how Lukacsian concepts like totality, anachronism, and distance forms a socio-ideological product in Pinter’s The Room. The play becomes essentially interesting applying Lukács’ theories regarding aesthetic and social elements of drama. Exploring The Room’s historical significance by highlighting Lukács’ notions such as distance, totality, and character’s social struggles, Pinter portrays a picture of a proletariat collision that results in a fatal resistance, where maintaining individuals revolute against the capitalistic mass-reproduction to become world-historical figures, which as we see at the end of the play, is necessarily obnoxious.
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