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Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Sketch the character of Mick in The Caretaker?

Mick, one of the three characters in the play The Caretaker is a riddle for the audience. He says the least and nothing is predictable about him. He is in his late twenties and wears a leather jacket, which, to some critics, signify fascism: but jacket may stand for something more than this, because in recent times leather jackets in Western Europe, have become associated with unruly and violent youth.

Mick is a figure of both menace and uncertainty; and both these features are due to his ability to mix silence with violence. He does not utter a single word when he assaults Davies at the end of Act I. The whole episode is conducted in a frightening silence, until Mick breaks it with the question, "what's the game?" Again confusion is caused for his sudden change of moods. In a parody of good manners he suddenly says, "It's awfully nice to meet you". He seems to delight in confusing Davies with long speeches about those Davies reminds him of places in London, and professional terminology, all of which serve to confuse Davies's already tottering sense of identity.

The inconsistency of Mick's attitude irritates Davies, but this is Mick's way of getting power over him. He baffles Davies, threatens him, appears concerned that he slept well, and then taunts him by flicking his trousers in his face.

One important feature of Mick's character is his fluency. Its good example is the speech in which he begins by telling Davies that he stinks. It is quite apparent from Davies's appearance that he is little better than a tramp, but Mick makes fun of him by offering, though cruelly, a series of deals involving solicitors, decorators, insurance, a personal medical attendant, and bank, all of which are totally unknown to Davies. There is no justification in this cruel mocking nature of Mick towards Davies.

Further we notice in Act Three Mick making a speech in which he expresses his plan to turn the room into a penthouse. The penthouse in its expensive and vulgar decoration and furnishings stands in a striking contrast to the shabbiness of the room, strewn with Aston's rubbish. Yet Mick dreams of sharing the flat with Aston and this suggests the depth of the bond between the two brothers. It is interesting that a few moments later Mick criticises Aston for showing no interest in his dreams. Thus the relationship between the two brothers, though deep, appears to be complex and contradictory. This, however, should not be seen as Pinter's weakness in dramatic technique. He rather tries to portray the relationship of real human beings. In human relationship we find resentments and tensions compete with loyalty and love.

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