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Speaking in Silence: Harold Pinter's Mountain Language

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2005, 18(3), pp.221-
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Hyonae Jo 1

1부산대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Harold Pinter has publicly commented on the political dimension of his plays since 1984. This political dimension, however, is not a completely different and new phase of his career but a logical extension of his earlier writings. This study aims to illuminate Pinter's political aspects by exploring the problems of the subject and power based on Slavoj Zizek's theory of ideology and subject in connection with his earlier plays. Zizek argues the belief that an organic society exists is in itself an ideological fantasy. On the contrary society is fragmented by incompatible and foreign elements, as shown in Mountain Language where the language of the colonized is not to be integrated into the system of the colonizer. 'Mountain people' and 'their language' work as a 'difference' to a system oriented toward homogeneity. The opposition between a coercive dominant language and the one forbidden constitutes the play's main conflict. The State, which one may argue is governed by a dominant ideology or so-called the Other in Lacanian context, tries to establish its order by forcing the culturally marginalized other to speak only the language of the ruler. But 'mountain people' and 'their language' serve as a threat to a totalitarian and homogeneous society. The play can be read as expressing 'a social symptom' in which immanent antagonistic forces of society erupts on to the social surface and challenge the system and its ideology.

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