The discourse of the opressed and the language of the abandoned in selected plays of Harold Pinter
The focus of this study is to explore the notions of oppression and abandonment and language and discourse as it pertains to the works of Harold Pinter. A selected reading of three psychoanalysts: Erich Fromm, Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan facilitates an explanation of the psychological effects of oppression, violence, victimisation and alienation. According to Fromm, isolation is wo/man's most prodigious fear as being abandoned from society institutes psychological disturbances. In the Pinterian landscape, the characters are subjected to isolation and abandonment due to the oppressive society in which they are positioned. The Freudian concept of unconscious discourse offers an engaging explanation of the way in which Pinter's characters use discourse to signify their ontological fears and repressed desires. Freud's theory on the mechanisms of the id, ego and super-ego, and how these concepts correspond to repression and thus anxiety, highlights the significant themes in Pinter's plays. The Lacanian notion of Other as it relates to the laws and restrictive demands of society is manifested in Pinter' s plays as an omnipresent menace. Thus the characters attempt to retreat from society as it threatens to annihilate them, should they not conform. Ironically the tyrannical society is too powerful for the characters, and consequently destroys them when they endeavour to defy the laws of the Other. Accordingly Pinter's plays end with this final image of oppressed and abandoned characters struggling in vain against the oppressive Other.