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Title: Eroding the language of freedom : identity predicament in selected works of Harold Pinter
Author: Ali, Farah Hasan
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 5357
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 2015
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In a world brimming with upheavals our individual identities are threatened with annihilation, every social eruption carries seeds of change. The word change is pregnant with both positive and negative possibilities, one hand, it allows human beings a chance of tremendous progress or on the other, it constrains human progress. Harold Pinter, once described as the ‘a master of Uncertainty’, 1 provided valid situations and formulas in his dramas in which the identities of his characters are deployed in two different categories: (i) those who stick to their identities to the extent of destroying the Other, thus creating oppressors out of themselves, and (ii) those who desperately fight to preserve their different identities in the face of the shifting landmarks created by the oppressors. Therefore my study is an attempt to develop a new conceptualisation of the term ‘identity’, to see how it has been employed in seven selected works of Harold Pinter. My thesis is not concerned with following the evolution of Harold Pinter dramas as much as the representation of his characters and the fluctuation of their identities in the face of the totalitarian powers. The hegemonising policies of these powers come in different shapes in public or private spheres, therefore the treatment of identity in my thesis takes different categories, and each category is approached with relevant set of theories to cut to the bone of Pinter’s philosophy of the individual as an independent and free human being in this world. The hegemonic powers do not emerge out of the vacuum, they stealthily encroach on governing systems progressively be they democratic or undemocratic. They create small incisions in our moral code, a ‘slow morphing of our social landmarks’,2 that results in a brainwashing process with different techniques and targets that are set against any individual who shows symptoms of non-conformity. My thesis highlights such processes, and examines those individuals who accept to be brainwashed as well as those who do so under duress in light of the suggested theories. Although draconic measure in Pinter dramas include everybody, a subaltern feminist theme is running in parallel with the theme of subduing the identity of the Other by focusing on the position of women in his dramas. By following different representations of characters in different circumstances, my thesis is an attempt to add another layer to the concept of identity as seen from my own experiences and as represented in Pinter dramas. It does not offer solutions or alternatives as much as representing situations in which the concept of identity is at stake. Words such as power, violence, and hegemony are part and parcel of this process. Moreover, by spotting the weaknesses in any given system or social model, I’m diagnosing the inadequacies that need to be negotiated, or addressed in order to protect our identities as free individuals who are not in need of more restrictions to regulate our lives as much as we need to break away from them to establish ourselves with only one identity: humanity.
Supervisor: Billing, Christian M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Drama