Nihilism and Event in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming


  • Lanja Najmalddin Karim Department of English, College of Languages, University of Human Development, Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region –Iraq



Absurd theater, Event, Existence, Nihilism


In Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, Lenny and Ruth are represented as two characters who seek the utter destruction of all moral and social values. By drawing on Nietzsche’s concept of nihilism this paper claims that Ruth and Lenny are being totally nihilistic as they are seeking the devaluation of any tradition or system of values that is created within and beyond the spaces they inhabit. This paper explores what constitutes the concept of ‘event’ by drawing on Alain Badiou and Gilles Deleuze’s conceptualization of event to claim that the way Pinter creates event in the play is what gives it its nihilistic aspect. According to Deleuze in The Logic of Sense: “The event is always that which has just happened and that which is about to happen, but never that which is happening” (2). However, in The Homecoming the event is what is happening, and what had happened with complete disregard to what will happen, thus, the lack of reference to the future makes this play  nihilistic. As the characters are constantly trying to destroy present they also become oblivious to future.


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