The Dumb Waiter
Study Questions and Essay Topics
Language is often echoed in the play as one character is forced to repeat the words of another. Discuss.
Other than his potentially small bladder, what are some reasons for Gus's frequent trips to the bathroom?
What is the effect of having the play set in one place without time stoppage?
Compare the silences of Ben with the silences of Gus, especially with respect to Pinter's belief that speech covers the nakedness of silence. Are both vulnerable? Do their silences protect this vulnerability, or hide it?
Discuss the use of props in the play (guns, matches, sheets, the photo of cricket players, etc.).
How do Gus's and Ben's attitudes toward money and class reveal themselves? How might a production of the play accentuate their positions?
Compare Ben and Gus with Vladimir and Estragon from Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Do the men in The Dumb Waiter complement each other in the same way that the tramps do in Godot? Are their conversations similar?
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