To Whose Homecoming Does The Play Refer?
In the play ‘The Homecoming’ by Harold Pinter, a family deals with the unexpected return of the eldest son and his wife, Ruth, on a visit from America. The rest of the family were unaware that Teddy had taken a wife. The arrival had a profound effect on each member of the family who are an unusual group consisting of an aging father, his two sons and his younger brother. Because of this unexpected event we see the intricacies of the relationships of the family and how these develop and change. The homecoming does not necessarily bring about change in a good way if viewed as a whole. If certain characters are looked at individually though, we see many things that happen are positive for that person.
The play would seem to centre around Teddy as he was the one returning home to his family. In fact, the attention is focused on Ruth. Max’s first reaction to her is abusive and he immediately calls Ruth a tart: ‘We’ve had a stinking pox-ridden slut in my house all night.’ This shows us how Max views women as he has never even set eyes on Ruth before this meeting. His words do not shock anyone and appear to be perfectly acceptable and normal. Even Teddy does not seem to surprised about this and although he does protest he is not particularly forceful. He seems to realise that there is no point in arguing with his father as he would not listen and I suspect that Teddy is used to his father’s ignorance and anti-female words. Ruth also does not try to defend herself or get upset. She is totally calm and surveys the scene silently with the same confidence she had expressed with Lenny the night before.
From the very beginning of the play we are given an idea of their attitude to women. We learn that there is no woman in the household because Max’s wife Jessie had died. It later becomes clear that Lenny is a pimp and owns flats in which to conduct his business, ...