The Homecoming

Pinter's Views on Women in The Homecoming

In The Homecoming, Harold Pinter suggests that there are two types of women: whores or mothers. The whore, he believes, can have little success in family life; the mother, on the other hand, can create a successful family. Pinter’s statement is reinforced by the behavior of characters Teddy and Max toward Ruth, and by that of Ruth herself.

The character Teddy is instrumental to the portrayal of Pinter’s views on women and what constitutes an ideal, happy family. He responds passively to Ruth’s actions, e.g. “I didn’t say I found it dirty here,” and is very careful to avoid confrontation; he wants Ruth to believe he is happy to be home and is very considerate to her. He continuously asks Ruth what she would like, if she is tired, etc., almost acting the part of an idealized, caring husband. When Ruth changes from mother to whore, Teddy acts carefully as he is unwilling to start a fight with Lenny, Joe and Max. During Ruth’s transformation there is no indication that Teddy reacts in any way; especially noticeable is the lack of stage direction. He goes along with his family when its members decide Ruth will work as a whore, demonstrating a firm belief in family harmony. Teddy’s...

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