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The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter. Get A Copy. Paperback , 64 pages. Published May 5th by Ellipses Marketing first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 9. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Dumb Waiter , please sign up.

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Sep 27, notgettingenough rated it it was amazing Shelves: modern-lit , drama. In the background you can hear the noise of at least two other shows coming through.


I write to complain and receive a reply along the lines of 'You are lucky we didn't charge you for the other shows too. Or reading a painting? The play is not a complete thing until it has voice and setting and atmosphere. Atmosphere is completely vital to the success of Pinter, no reading can get across the ambiguity, the menace, the unsettling that takes place. Lawrence Mooney and Matt King created that.


SparkNotes: The Dumb Waiter

They created it despite the insane inane background of hysterical audience manufactured laughter and miked standups going on at the same time. The setting created it.

View all 4 comments. Dec 26, Jamie rated it liked it Shelves: undergrad. I don't know quite what to say about this play--it was my first Pinter experience, and I'd be interested to read more. But I'd say that I got a lot more through discussing the play in class than in the actual reading of it; which doesn't necessarily discount it, but I'm hesitant to say I loved it, when really I loved the issues that arose peripherally, as my class was perplexed as to what to bring up from within the text.

Issues like: where do we search for meaning, particularly in our reading o I don't know quite what to say about this play--it was my first Pinter experience, and I'd be interested to read more. Issues like: where do we search for meaning, particularly in our reading of literature--is it on the surface?

  • Related Content.
  • SparkNotes: The Dumb Waiter: Plot Overview.
  • The Dumb Waiter: Realism and Metaphor.
  • What is the importance of a text if you have to read between the lines, so to speak, in order to gain anything from it. Several people waxed poetic on "art for art's sake" and claim that we should never make conjectures about a text--any assumptions must be made from the actual evidence in the work itself--and continued by asking why we can't just enjoy what's there, rather than analyzing everything to death? I think that strain of thought is idiotic, and it made me wonder why these people are English majors, if they don't like analyzing literature in an exhaustive fashion!

    Pinter's play, though, creates a taut atmosphere--spatially, it is claustrophobic, and each movement deliberate, leading us to wonder as readers when the tightrope is going to snap. Similarly, the dialogue never falls on anything substantial, as though Gus and Ben are circling the issues at hand.

    The Dumb Waiter - Harold Pinter Part2

    That in itself is fascinating and why we discussed the implications of "reading between the lines" in a text. The dumb waiter itself points to, I think, humanity's fascination or need to look to and obey some higher authority--Ben, in this way, is incredibly robotic. He doesn't know what the dumb waiter is, this scares him, and then he wants to follow it simply because it seems authoritative.

    Gus asks questions, and is perhaps punished for doing so--certainly he isn't encouraged.

    SparkNotes users wanted!

    Very Orwellian or Atwood-esque in the sense that they warn readers that it's when you stop asking questions that "those who are they" haha get you, so to speak. But it's also Gus, asking questions here, who is going to pay for doing so. An interesting play in terms of looking at power politics--Gus obeys Ben, at least provisionally, and Ben in turn yields to disembodied images of power. Communication in such heirarchic situations, then, seems impossible in Pinter's view or at least in mine. It's also difficult to judge a play without seeing it performed, I must admit.

    Some things came across better when we did some reading-aloud in class--some of the intricacies made more sense or were highlighted a bit brighter. It's an interesting play, but not necessarily the easiest one to enter into. Requires multiple readings, though as it takes only minutes to get through it, it's not too unreasonable. My Plot: The Dumb Waiter is again one of the master piece of Harold Pinter the leading dramatist of the Theater of Absurd, The Play was all about a Two Hit Men, Ben and Gus, Ben is the Senior of the Gang and Gus is a Beginner to the Gang team, They were Hired to Kill someone, the One Act play goes in the Following, Ben reading the Newspaper and spending his time for the victim to come, Gus is making some modification on his shoes, Ben sometimes reads to his friend from the Newspaper and than all of a sudden they make a verbal riot about the Semantic of the Kettle whether it's "Light" or "Put on" the Kettle, This meaningless conversation shows the Absurdity of Humans in the Pinter Theater, after a while a dumb waiter who delivers occasional food order, The Two Characters wants to get rid of him and Gus gets out, After coming back Ben was ready to kill his friend which was his task to perform.

    Positive and Negative Aspects: Speaking of Theater of Absurd It's very hard to get a meaning from the whole play, the Writer was intended to make language empty from meaning, It was a hard attempt to do so, Speaking of positives the play writer was really professional to make a One Act play with a meaningless subject, From this Meaningless the writer shows the Aspect that there is no use from the Language nor from the Human beings themselves, everything was useless and meaningless.

    Besides, the setting was quite simple showing that there is no need to make such complications. Concerning the Negatives, It was so much heavy to read all day a meaningless play, Besides I already make idea of How the Absurd Theater was making itself. My Personal Reaction: Reading the Theater of Absurd was something that puts you against the time and meaning.

    The Dumb Waiter..April 16 – 28

    It was like making two Punches at the same face without taking into consideration the Intentions of theses Punches. Recommendations: I would recommend this Play to those cold blooded persons, It is absurd to read the Theater of Absurd, That's How I say it, However I would recommend it to those who want to explore the techniques of this Genre of Theater for some Futuristic works. Anyway those people will get in touch with it. Mar 07, Ananya rated it liked it.


    Feb 26, Youlia Zeitouni rated it really liked it Shelves: classics , plays. Although I didn't like Samuel Beckett's play I did enjoy the ideas.. Pinter's style did appeal more to me Since the beginning Gus questions the routine of life which annoys him, he keeps asking Ben questions like ''why doesn't Wilson ever bothers to show up If you have read Samuel Beckett's ''Waiting for Godot'' before this you will notice Beckett's influence on Pinter. Since the beginning Gus questions the routine of life which annoys him, he keeps asking Ben questions like ''why doesn't Wilson ever bothers to show up'' or ''who cleans after they had done wit their job?

    Another thing that is noticed throughout the play is that they never have meaningful conversations, for instance they avoid talking about death incidents written in the newspaper and talk about more trivial matters such as the malfunctioning toilet anyone sensing the irony here? And in the end we never get to know who Wilson is just like Godot, for everyone interprets it in his own way.

    The piece is spare, and just about every word matters. It seems like a dramatic scheme that Pinter could have done in less time. Johnson and Bartelle do a good job of living in their characters' skin, but the work doesn't dig much beyond the surface. The mystery drives toward its conclusion, which is satisfying, but as a thriller, The Dumb Waiter is more about the tension and surprises than any of the consequences.

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