Pinter uses a lot of pauses in speech. This is a great tool to build up tension as that is what a lot of the play is based on. Pauses and silences give you time to see the feelings and expressions in the characters faces, as that can be more powerful than words. Pauses can show different feelings, for example awkwardness between people. “Teddy: Hullo….. Dad….. We overslept. Pause What’s for breakfast? Silence Teddy Chuckles Huh. We overslept This shows there being awkwardness between Max and Teddy as Teddy has just shown up out of know where after six years. The use of the …… is also frequently used by Pinter in “The Homecoming”.
This has the same effect as the silences except it is used in the middle of speech and give off a few more emotions. Sometimes when there are gaps in the sentences it implies that that person is lying, and in this play in particular, a lot of lies are told and the topic of them is quite ominous. “Ruth: We used to pass a….. a large white water tower. This place….. this house….. was very big….. the trees…. there was a lake, you see… ” Ruth may not be lying here but it shows that she is a very open person to be enclosing this information to someone she barely knows. “Joey: And then we…. well, by the kerb, we saw this parked car….
with a couple of girls in it. ” Another aspect of form and structure is the use of climax. There are many climactic points and most of these are some kind of argument, these generally cause quite a lot of tension as arguments, especially in “The Homecoming” are quite menacing. This is mainly because they are an extremely dysfunctional family so their fights are quite intense. Max, the father of the family is usually the cause for these arguments as he is very highly strung and looks for fights with the other member of the family- “Max: Oh yes, you are. You resent making my breakfast, that’s what it is, isn’t it? ”
This causes tension and an atmosphere as there is always some build up to a climax then a climax then it drops back again before it starts to build up again. The structure of the play is good because it has got only two acts, which although they are broken into units, flow quite well. In my opinion the less breaks there are in a play the more believable it is so you are therefore drawn into the play far more, rather than if it were to stop and start. This helps create tension as you never lose the feeling of what is going on, nor is there enough breaks to disturb the build up of the story. Pinter however uses blackouts to distinguish scenes.
“Max: I remember my father. BLACKOUT LIGHTS UP Night. ” This is a good technique as it doesn’t stop the flow of the play by having definite scene changes, it just gives a slight hint to it occurring. “The Homecoming” is a naturalistic play (as long as the set is done correctly), but there are also some surreal elements to the play, especially in the second half. This is based around the fact that there are some abnormal occurrences in the second act. The set may also be used to represent some of this as well. The technique of juxtaposition is used throughout “The Homecoming”. It is a dramatic contrast created by circumstances in the play.
“Max: I think I’ll have a fag. Pause I just asked you to give me a cigarette. Pause Look what I’m lumbered with. ” Here Max is talking to Lenny and Lenny is ignoring him. This shows a juxtaposition of their moods as Max is being very uptight whereas Lenny is being extremely laid back. Juxtaposition is the transition between the first section when the family are in the room to when Teddy and Ruth arrive. This is because in the first section there are people occupying the space and then after a blackout Teddy and Ruth appear standing on the threshold of the room but not quite inside it. “BLACKOUT LIGHTS OUT Night
TEDDY and RUTH stand at the threshold of the room. ” There are lots of different rhythms throughout the play. One is the use of repetition. “Lenny: You used to tuck me up in bed every night. He tucked you up, too, didn’t he, Joey? Pause He used to like tucking up his sons. Max: Lenny. Lenny: What? Max: I’ll give you a proper tuck up one of these night, son. ” The repetition of the phrase “tuck up” gives weight gravitas to what is being said. There are quite a few themes throughout the play. One of the most obvious ones is sex. Others include impotence, animal imagery, mother figures, power and ownership and brain and emotion.