Discordance in the Scenes of Moolight

In Harold Pinter's Moonlight, discordant scenes create a state of transition for the characters, who are facing the death of family patriarch Andy. Throughout the play, Pinter sets up scenes which would not fit logically into a linear story. Old friends reappear and converse with Andy, his wife and their two sons. A daughter, stuck at the age of 16, provides commentary from a "third area." Sons Fred and Jake deny the fact that their father is dying and ignore their mother's attempts to contact them. Pinter provides these scenes to suggest that death is a process of crossing a line -- death will be a "new horizon" for Andy, as Bel (twice) suggests (p. 46) -- but some lines crossed in the past can never be revisited.

The first suggestion of discordance is marked by Maria's appearance to Jake and Fred when she describes, in a long speech, her relationships with Bel, Andy and her husband Ralph (p. 15). Although the stage directions suggest that she is speaking directly to Jake and Fred, her words suggest otherwise. They do not interrupt her as she openly reveals a long-standing "great affection" for Andy (p. 16). "How he danced," she says. "One of the great waltzers. An...

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