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Monday, 25 March 2019

In what sense does Davies represent Everyman

Davies in The Caretaker is a prominent character whose life and problems can be seen as representing certain basic features that are shared by every human being.

The problems faced by Davies are the problems of normal human existence. He tries pathetically to cling to his dignity when society wants to deprive him of his rights. Davies is frightened of loneliness and anything he does not understand such as taxation, house purchase, and 'papers'. His fear of down payments, back payments, family allowances, bonus schemes is common enough to make it a standard human reaction. It may be that in Davies Pinter shows his audience an even more basic human instinct, that of territorial advantage, or the desire to gain dominance in any given situation. Davies certainly shows this in his dealings with Aston and Mick. His belief that he will 'sort himself out' when he gets down to Sidcup can be seen as representing all the things that people dream of doing, but never achieve. Davies represents all people who try to evade reality by dreams and fantasies.We can find other aspects in which Davies can be said to represent more than just his own self. He uses the language of the common man. Like any other human being, he is a wanderer who faces trials and tribulations during the journeys he makes. As a religious figure, he is poor, unmarried, and is rejected by his fellow men, and in this respect at least he can be compared to Jesus Christ.But if we are to see Davies as representative of mankind, we are to ignore many of his most obvious features. He is an outcast before he is rescued by Aston,an unprincipled vagrant, and a filthy, ill-clothed wreck of a man. Certainly there are many people like Davies in the world, but he is nevertheless an extreme case, a total loss of society, and hardly typical of all humanity. If he were Everyman, society would have ceased to exist thousands of years ago.

The problems of Davies are common enough for an audience to feel a degree of sympathy for him, and they are clearly drawn from the real world. Davies shows the dark said of life, in the form of loneliness, rejection, inadequacy, loss of personal identity, and failure, but however compelling the portrait might be, it is only one side of life. Therefore Davies is not unusual, but equally is not a representative of all humanity.

To sum up, Davies should not regarded as a symbol. He is a representative figure, no doubt, but his vision is limited to one side of human experience. So Davies should be seen not as Everyman but simply a part of man.

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