A night in winter [Scene 1] Aston has invited Davies, a homeless man, into his flat after rescuing him from a bar fight 7—9. Davies comments on the flat and criticises the fact that it is cluttered and badly kept. Aston attempts to find a pair of shoes for Davies but Davies rejects all the offers. Early on, Davies reveals to Aston that his real name is not "Bernard Jenkins", his "assumed name", but really "Mac Davies" 19—20,

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In that case, it is unlikely that M will object in the first place. Thus, the payoff configurations belonging to the bargaining set are unlikely to be challenged. This does not, however, imply that, e. The play only displays a bargaining process between the three characters. The precise formulae for the payoff configuration can be found in the appendix C. As an example of such payoff configuration, assume that ,. Interestingly, A receives the highest part of the configuration.

Conclusion 35In this paper, which still leaves plenty of room for further debate about The Caretaker, we have challenged the use by Colman of this play to illustrate the inadequacy of the stable set, a solution concept for CGT introduced by von Neumann and Morgenstern We have seen that this illustration relies on the idea that the play seems to have a circular configuration, the opening and the ending reflecting each other.

This idea, however, is in line neither with the comments on the play made by Pinter scholars nor with our definition of the different characteristic functions.

In contrast, we have argued that The Caretaker better illustrates the adequacy of the bargaining set, a solution concept of CGT proposed by Aumann and Maschler ; Firstly, to shed new light on the formation of coalitions in The Caretaker, a natural line of reasoning to pursue could consist in using non-cooperative rather than cooperative solution concepts for a survey of the relevant literature on this subject, see, e.

Secondly, it would be interesting to see if other Pinter plays could be used to illustrate the notion of bargaining set. Lastly, we may also rely on the bargaining set to study dramas in which no cooperation between all the characters is possible, meaning that the core is empty.

A The Summary of The Caretaker 37The play opens, after a brief and silent inspection of the room by Mick, with Aston bringing in Davies, whom he has rescued from a fight at some cafe where Davies was working. Aston invites Davies to stay with him for a few days until he gets fixed up or until he can sort out his life. He gives him a bit of tobacco for his pipe p. The next morning Aston goes out. He gives Davies the keys of the house p. The final scene of Act I is violent: after Aston is gone, Mick slides into the room, and treats Davies as though he is a burglar.

Mick cross—examines Davies, alternating between brutality and politeness. He says that Davies can rent the room if he wants.

Mick grabs the bag repeatedly so that it passes ceaselessly between the three characters. Mick leaves again. Aston tells Davies that he is refurbishing the room for Mick whose house it is p. Davies now knows that ownership and power are lodged with Mick, not with Aston.

Finally, Aston offers Davies a job as caretaker p. The same evening, Davies returns to the room. He tries to switch on the light, but it does not work, because Mick, who is using a vacuum cleaner, has plugged it into the lamp socket. When the light is on again, Davies is discovered holding a knife in his hand, ready to strike any attacker. But Mick has become polite and considerate to Davies. A little after that, he offers Davies the position of caretaker p.

Davies mentions having plenty of references in Sidcup. The next morning, Aston, in the longest speech of the play, tells Davies the story of his life. He reveals that he once received electric-shock treatment in a mental hospital. Aston depicts himself as a helpless victim, betrayed not only by an uncaring society, but also by his mother who gave permission for the operation to be performed. As Aston finishes his speech, the curtain falls on Act II. Aston mentions that he and Mick could make a success of the flat together but Mick remarks that he and Aston will live there p.

Aston returns. He has a pair of shoes for Davies, but Davies complains that they do not fit properly. Mick exits. Next the relationship between Aston and Davies deteriorates. Davies turns against Aston. He even menaces Aston with a knife. Aston eventually says that the time has come when Davies should find somewhere else to live p.

Davies retaliates that it might be Aston who will have to go. Davies goes out. Davies suggests that Aston should go back to the mental hospital. Aston and Mick exchange smiles. These smiles suggest a bond of understanding between the two brothers: Mick assumes fatherly responsibility for Aston.

The play ends with Davies pleading for the home he has lost, while Aston stands by the window with his back turned to Davies. Each player alone cannot realize his dream. We have therefore. This emerges, for an example, in a brief scene in Act III p. My brother and me. All this junk here. Aston and Mick act in tandem with each other.

If the coalition forms, both Aston and Mick realize their dreams. Aston was subjected to the horror of the mental hospital, and he knows that, as pointed out by Davies in Act III p.

They can have them on again! The life of Davies is filled with a lot of menaces. For instance, he is frightened that people representing authority might question him about having only four stamps on his false insurance card.

In Act I p. Bernard Jenkins. I got no rights. I got an insurance card here. He takes a card from his pocket. Under the name of Jenkins. Four of them. Davies, who is constantly seeking competitive advantage, is locked into tactical struggles from which Aston is isolated. Aston and Davies act in tandem with, rather than in opposition to, each other. If the coalition forms, both Aston and Davies can triumph over their fears.

Davies gains a temporary place to live, and Aston gains someone to talk to about his fears. In Act II, Mick emphasizes these facts many a time for instance, p. This is my room. Mick prefers nobody neither he nor Aston to support Davies, but, if Davies is supported, Mick prefers to do it himself instead of having Aston do it.

Davies prefers Mick to Aston because Mick is the legal landlord. Davies and Mick act in opposition to, rather than in tandem with, each other. If the coalition forms, Davies gains a permanent place to live, but he puts himself at the mercy of Mick, and Mick gains allegiance from Davies, but he does not realize his dream of sharing the room with his brother. It seems to us, therefore, that we have the following inequations: , and.

There are only two single beds in the room that is the setting for The Caretaker. Assume as in Appendix B that ,.


The Caretaker

In that case, it is unlikely that M will object in the first place. Thus, the payoff configurations belonging to the bargaining set are unlikely to be challenged. This does not, however, imply that, e. The play only displays a bargaining process between the three characters.


The Caretaker Summary



Harold Pinter : The birthday party, the caretaker, the homecoming : a casebook





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