How Does The Caretaker Represent the Contemporary Society?

Question: How Does The Caretaker Represent the Contemporary Society?


“The Caretaker” written by Harold Pinter (1930-2008) is one of the best paradigms of modern drama. In the drama, Harold Pinter represents the problems of contemporary society through the characters, especially Davies and Aston. In the play, it is transparently focused that modern human beings fail to communicate with the outside of the world because of their self-centred nature, racial prejudice, and egoism.

Joblessness of the people

Harold Pinter vividly displays contemporary social problems including joblessness. Joblessness is one of the main problems of modern people. In the play, Davies is the victim of society because he is a rejected person from working-class people. He is jobless and barbaric who does not have a relation with his family, friends, even wife. Through the character of Davies, Pinter represents all the jobless, vagrant and shelter-less working-class people.

Want of accommodation

Modern people are very isolated for their self-centred nature and egoism. They fail to communicate with the other and they feel very lonely. In the play, Davies badly needs shelter and company. He becomes jobless, homeless and an old tramp. One day when Davies fights at the cafe, Aston rescues him from the dangerous situation and brings him in his house. However, he gets an opportunity to stay with Aston in Aston’s house. But here he wants self-power. So, he plays a dividing role against two brothers. But he fails to do this and at last, he is rejected from his job. Here Pinter represents the tendency of the contemporary modern people.

Greediness and selfishness

Greediness and selfishness are the contemporary tendencies of modern people. The tendency of modern people is always self-centred. Harold Pinter expresses greediness and selfishness through the character of Davies. Davies is an old tramp. He anyhow wants power in the house of Aston. So, he tells Aston that he is professionally an interior decorator and painter but actually he does not. He expresses himself as an expert person, he always tells that he will go to Sidcup and he will show his identity card but Davies does not go there. Davies only says this to get power in the house.

Racial prejudice

Racial prejudice is the main reason for isolation and loneliness because it creates differences between black and white. Black people neglect white people. In the play, when Davies tells Aston about their neighbours, Aston replies that their neighbours are barbaric and vagrant who come here from the Indian subcontinent and another side of Africa. Then Davies says that he does not like these colours people because their status is poor. On the other side, Mick neglects Davies and tells him old tramp, a vagrant, barbaric and a liar. Through racial prejudice, Harold Pinter reveals the problems of contemporary society.

Violence and menace

Menace means an intrigue and sinister, feeling of characters who have inexplicit motives to overpower others. It may arrive in a number of ways – physical, psychological, and mental. In his play, Pinter displays life confined by the surrounding menace and ‘an atmosphere of menace’ which changes the lifestyle of his characters. His characters do not leave the room for the menace because they feel safe and secure in the closed room. Here, Harold Pinter displays the mentality of contemporary modern people.

Lack of proper conjugal relationship

A proper Conjugal relationship is the best paradigm of pleasure and happiness. But modern people do not have any proper conjugal relationship. Lack of conjugal relationships brings isolation and loneliness. But in the play, Harold Pinter does not show any marital or conjugal life that means family and wife because in contemporary society does not have a proper conjugal relationship.


In termination, we can transparently say that in the play “The Caretaker” Harold Pinter Properly represents Contemporary society through the characters. Modern people are not only self-centred and barbaric but also isolated like Davies. So, this play is the best paradigm of Contemporary society.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
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