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A Study of the Matchseller in A Slight Ache

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2004, 17(1), pp.5-30
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Cho Sook Hee 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The majority of the Pinter canon includes an unexpected intruder. The intruder figure can be interpreted in many ways. From a Freudian psychoanalytic approach, the intruder may represent a son figure who wants to achieve his unfulfilled oedipal desire in the plays. One can also apply myth criticism with the old king and new king figure. With feminist approach, the woman intruder may attempt to reverse the hierarchy of the patriarchal household. Even with the various approaches, I still feel that there may be another way of explaining the role of the intruder: the intruder figure may, on some level, be eventually no other than the characters themselves, as their doubles. Here, the confrontation with the double reminds one of the myth of Narcissus. Just as Narcissus looks into his image on the water, the characters see themselves, reflected in the doubles.The main objective of this paper is to analyze the relationship between the Matchseller who is the intruder and the residents in A Slight Ache from the aspect of the double and narcissism and finally to better understand the seemingly bizarre ending of the play.In sum, Edward and Flora both have a narcissistic experience through their mirror, the Matchseller. While flora succeeds in transforming the mirror image for her own good, Edward fails to grasp the meaning of the mysterious intruder. When he rejects his own image as it is, there is no other way but to be conquered by the overwhelming otherness.

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