You love us on Instagram and Twitter, now check us out on TikTok! You love us on Instagram and Twitter, now check us out on TikTok!

The Dumb Waiter

  • Study Guide
Summary

Part One: Beginning Until The Envelope

Summary Part One: Beginning Until The Envelope

The toilet serves as a base for Gus throughout the play. It represents repetition, and the futility of repetition. Like the choppy dialogue, the toilet works on a delay—the flush is preceded by a long pause—solidifying the notion that repetition effects little change. Just as Gus transfers the flattened matchbox and carton (both defective objects) from his shoes to his pocket—one receptacle to another—the receptacle of the defective toilet transfers human waste to the receptacle of the sewers. The waste, however, does not disappear; it will return in some form, and is part of the cyclical nature of life that bores Gus, the dull repetition of work and sleep.

The characters' complete separation from the upper class is also introduced and will be explored in further depth later. Their unfamiliarity with the sporting terms of posh cricket and their affection for the more working-class game of soccer immediately defines their social standing.