"Dreams and aspirations feature significantly in "The Caretaker." To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Essay by serenity87 July 2005

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In Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, he tries to put forth a theory whereby dreams and aspirations can only exist in the short run. In this case, the characters can only plan one step ahead, and that they can only move on if that step is accomplished. This short-sightedness of men towards the attitudes of their lives shows how they are unable to progress far in life as they cannot see beyond these few steps, and thus is unable to fulfill the goal in their lives. This idea is put across through the use of language, symbols and patterns that portrays the various themes such as the problematic nature of identity and failure of communication. Therefore, it is clearly evident that this statement is true to a large extent.

Firstly, the theme of the failure of communication is displayed through its use of verbal and non-verbal techniques. Verbal language used in this instance, shows how the characters are hoping to live their "dream" life and the methods in which they display it in their speech.

For example, Mick's use of shifting occupations as a way of domination over Davies plays out in this instance. He changes from being a lawyer in which he states "I can turn you to the police station in 5 minutes, have you in for trespassing, loitering with intent, daylight robbery, filching, thieving and stinking the place out." This shows how he incorporates the law with his own morals and mindset, dominating Davies through the use of continued speech, confusing him.

He then takes on the role of a real estate agent in which he says, "Furniture and fittings, I'll take four hundred or the nearest offer. Rateable value ninety quid for the annum. You can reckon water, heating, and lighting at close on fifty."...