The Caretaker

Mode of drama: Tragicomedy

The Caretaker is a drama of mixed modes; both tragic and comic, it is a tragicomedy.[3][4] Elements of comedy appear in the monologues of Davies and Mick, and the characters' interactions at times even approach farce.[3] For instance, the first scene of Act Two, which critics have compared to the hat and shoe sequences in Beckett's Waiting for Godot, is particularly farcical:

ASTON offers the bag to DAVIES.

MICK grabs it. ASTON takes it. MICK grabs it. DAVIES reaches for it. ASTON takes it. MICK reaches for it. ASTON gives it to DAVIES.

MICK grabs it. Pause. (39)

Davies' confusion, repetitions, and attempts to deceive both brothers and to play each one off against the other are also farcical. Davies has pretended to be someone else and using an assumed name, "Bernard Jenkins". But, in response to separate inquiries by Aston and Mick, it appears that Davies' real name is not really "Bernard Jenkins" but that it is "Mac Davies" (as Pinter designates him "Davies" throughout) and that he is actually Welsh and not English, a fact that he is attempting to conceal throughout the play and that motivates him to "get down to Sidcup", the past location of a British Army Records Office, to get his identity "papers" (13–16).

The elements of tragedy occur in Aston's climactic monologue about his shock treatments in "that place" and at the end of the play, though the ending is still somewhat ambiguous: at the very end, it appears that the brothers are turning Davies, an old homeless man, out of what may be his last chance for shelter, mainly because of his (and their) inabilities to adjust socially to one another, or their respective "anti-social" qualities.

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