What is a summary of Harold Pinter's "The Caretaker"?


Quick Answer

"The Caretaker" is a play written by Harold Pinter that revolves around two brothers asking an older man to be their caretaker. The two brothers are Mick and Aston.

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Full Answer

The caretaker's name is Davies. Pinter is known for his "real" dialogue rather than stage dialogue, and "The Caretaker" has it. Aston brings Davies into his brother Mick's home to stay. After some time, Aston and Mick ask Davies if he would like to be the caretaker at the house. However, nothing goes according to plan.

All three characters would be considered failures by many because they do not have any gumption and are barely scraping through life. All three characters are dreamers. Aston is nervous around other people and skeptical of their true intentions because he was given electro-shock treatment when he was a child. Aston wants to build a shed and a workshop in the garden, but the audience knows that it will never happen, just as Mick is never going to convert this house into a stylish penthouse. The audience also knows that Davies will never go to Sidcup and get his references as well as all of his other personal documents so that he can rebuild his life.

"The Caretaker" does not have an extensive plot and is renowned for its simplicity. It is built around dialogue and nothing happens. The entirety of the play takes place in Mick's disheveled house.

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