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Homecoming, The

pinter teddy play ruth

a play by H. Pinter, performed and published in 1965. One of its author's darkest dramas, the play involves the homecoming of Teddy, an academic living in America, with his English wife Ruth, once a photographic model, born in the same north London area where his family still lives. Their welcome is far from conventional. Teddy's widowed father, Max, is alternately insulting, bullying, and ingratiating, and his brothers, Joey and Lenny, make sexual advances to Ruth, who calmly accepts them. By the end of the play, Teddy departs for America and for his young children, leaving Ruth ostensibly the creature of father and brothers who have decided to make her a prostitute, but actually their surrogate mother, in full command of the household. As often in Pinter, seemingly banal or irrelevant speeches and exchanges carry great emotional weight, helping to explain behaviour that at first seems motiveless. The result is a picture, probably Pinter's most shocking, of family politics at their most intricate, disturbing, and overwhelming.

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