Though the present is an outcome of past contemplations and actions, Pinter does not reveal the past as he wants the audience to think about the various possible ways in which past can influence the present. Furthermore by leaving the interpretations open to the audience, Pinter tries to portray that historical archives as storehouses of narratives of the past, cannot be fully relied upon, as these are narratives written in accordance to the dictates of those in power and as such are biased in their interpretations.
As the play proceeds, Stanley, in a long monologue, tells Meg of a concert, he once gave. The concert was a great success and Stanley gives an account of it:
STANLEY: (To himself.) I had a unique touch. Absolutely unique. They…show more content… The physical and mental torture meted out to Stanley leaves an indelible scar in his mind and gives birth to his great fear against all forces that coalesce to form a collective force (they) which is immensely powerful and at the same time devastating. This paranoia is dormant till the time Stanley is in a comfortable, secure place and surrounded by familiar, innocuous people like Pete, Meg and Lulu. But the arrival of the mysterious Goldberg and McCann, in the boarding house galvanizes the terror and panic in the subconscious mind and intensifies it to the extent, that Stanley vents out his frustration by madly beating the toy drum which he gets as a birthday present (though he denies it is his birthday) from Meg. The savagery of Stanley’s reaction on receiving the toy drum is also effected by Stanley’s despair at being treated like a child by Meg. A toy drum is usually gifted to a child. Meg gifts Stanley a toy drum as he is a musician and also because she feels the child in Stanley will like the gift. But what she fails to understand is that by being a mother-surrogate to Stanley, she has made Stanley dependent on her to an extent that is disliked by Stanley himself. Stanley’s disgust for the mother-er Meg and his attempt to free himself from her (abject’s) clutches is thus reflected in his uncontrolled and wild beating of the drum, gifted by