Theme of Power in Harold Pinter's the Homecoming

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In Harold Pinter 's "The Homecoming" one of the important themes is power. Many of the characters try to exert power. Many of the characters try to exert power over others through various means such as sexuality and intelligence. The use of violence within the household is believed by the men to be the most important tool of power. However, when Ruth, the only woman in the play, enters, she appears to defeat the men 's power, but not with violence. Her sexuality and apparent intelligence become part of the way in which she takes control of the house. Power itself is the ability to take control and exert authority over others. Violence is a physical form of this. It usually takes the form of a display of force and this could be an unjust or…show more content…
Despite his position as a teacher, Teddy is unable to answer a question posed by Lenny. Ruth intervenes, but her answer reveals little intellectual power; it is another reminder of her sexual power. Her context for the question is her body and underwear, rather than the table that Lenny used as his example. Although Teddy is intelligent, he is defeated. Joey is ill-educated and gains power through violence, but he is not undefeatable. Ruth 's suggested intelligence becomes a vehicle for her sexual power that distracts attention from Teddy. Ruth 's actions have defeated her husband as he makes no attempt to stop what she is doing. In a university course description, philosophy is described as "a calling to anyone who wishes to take life reflectively and thoughtfully, rather than just acting on prevailing assumptions, habits, and prejudices." If this is genuinely Teddy 's "calling", his intellect is preventing him from gaining control of any situations by perhaps being too reflective and too slow to act. It is Teddy 's brothers and father who act on "prevailing assumptions, habits and prejudices". Yet both the passive philosophical and the more violent unphilosophical men are overpowered by the forthright plain-thinking woman. The positions of employment that the different characters hold do not necessarily give any indication of their

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