Download Arnold Wesker's The Kitchen for Free: A Guide to the Masterpiece of Kitchen-Sink Drama
Arnold Wesker The Kitchen Pdf Free: A Review of the Classic Play
If you are looking for a captivating and realistic drama that explores the lives and struggles of ordinary people in a fast-paced and chaotic environment, you might want to check out Arnold Wesker's The Kitchen. This play, written in 1959 and first performed in 1961, is one of Wesker's most famous and acclaimed works. It is set in the kitchen of a large London restaurant, where a diverse group of cooks, waiters, porters, and dishwashers work together under pressure and tension. In this article, we will review the play and tell you why it is worth reading. We will also tell you how you can get a free pdf copy of the play online.
Arnold Wesker The Kitchen Pdf Free
The Plot: A Summary of the Main Events
The play consists of two acts, each divided into several scenes. The first act takes place during a busy morning shift, while the second act takes place during a quieter evening shift. The play follows the interactions and conflicts among the kitchen staff, as well as their personal stories and dreams.
In the first act, we meet Peter, a German cook who is having an affair with Monique, a married waitress from France. Peter is unhappy with his job and his relationship, and he longs for a better life. He wants to leave Monique and go to Paris with another waitress, Anne. However, Monique is pregnant with his child and refuses to let him go. Peter also clashes with his boss, Gaston, who is a strict and demanding manager.
We also meet some of the other characters, such as Michael, an Irish cook who is friendly and optimistic; Raymond, a French cook who is arrogant and rude; Paul, an English cook who is quiet and reserved; Kevin, an Irish porter who is cheerful and humorous; Helen, an English waitress who is kind and compassionate; Cyd, an English dishwasher who is rebellious and outspoken; and Dimitri, a Greek cook who is passionate and temperamental.
The first act ends with a dramatic scene in which Peter has a nervous breakdown and attacks Gaston with a knife. He is restrained by his colleagues and taken away by an ambulance.
The Characters: An Analysis of the Main Roles
The play features a large cast of characters, each with their own personality and background. Wesker portrays them as complex and realistic human beings, who have their own hopes, fears, joys, and sorrows. He also shows how they are affected by their social class, ethnicity, nationality, and gender.
Peter is the protagonist of the play. He is a young and talented cook who has a lot of potential but also a lot of frustration. He feels trapped in his job and his relationship, and he wants to escape from his situation. He is also conflicted about his identity as a German immigrant in England after World War II. He suffers from alienation, isolation, and anxiety.
Monique is Peter's lover. She is a married woman who has left her husband and child in France to work in London. She loves Peter but she also depends on him for emotional and financial support. She is insecure, possessive, and manipulative. She tries to control Peter's life and prevent him from leaving her.
Anne is Peter's love interest. She is a young and beautiful waitress who has a crush on Peter. She is naive, innocent, and romantic. She believes that Peter loves her and that they can run away together. She is unaware of Peter's affair with Monique and his mental instability.
Gaston is Peter's boss. He is a middle-aged man who runs the kitchen with an iron fist. He is strict, harsh, and demanding. He expects his staff to work hard and fast, and he does not tolerate any mistakes or complaints. He is also proud, arrogant, and insensitive. He does not care about the feelings or needs of his employees.
The Themes: A Discussion of the Main Ideas
The play explores several themes that are relevant to the social and historical context of the 1950s and 1960s, as well as to the contemporary world. Some of the main themes are:
Work and alienation: The play shows how the kitchen staff are exploited and dehumanized by their work. They are treated as machines that have to produce food for the customers, without any regard for their individuality or creativity. They are also alienated from each other, as they compete, fight, and betray each other for survival. They are unable to find meaning or fulfillment in their work.
Love and loneliness: The play shows how the kitchen staff are also deprived of love and companionship in their personal lives. They are either single, married unhappily, or involved in affairs that are doomed to fail. They are unable to form genuine and lasting relationships with each other, as they are too busy, tired, or afraid to open up. They are also unable to communicate effectively, as they speak different languages and have different cultural backgrounds. They are lonely and unhappy.
Class and inequality: The play shows how the kitchen staff are also oppressed by their social class and economic status. They are poor, uneducated, and marginalized by the society. They have no power or voice in their work or in their society. They are also discriminated against by their customers, who are rich, privileged, and snobbish. They have no respect or dignity in their work or in their society.
Identity and diversity: The play shows how the kitchen staff are also diverse and multicultural in their identity and background. They come from different countries, such as Germany, France, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Spain, India, Jamaica, etc. They have different ethnicities, religions, languages, customs, etc. They represent the post-war immigration wave that changed the face of Britain. They also face challenges and conflicts in adapting to their new environment and culture.
The Style: A Commentary on the Language and Structure
The play is written in a realistic and naturalistic style that reflects the everyday speech and behavior of the characters. Wesker uses a variety of languages and dialects to convey the diversity and authenticity of the characters. He also uses slang, jargon, curses, jokes, songs, etc. to create a lively and dynamic atmosphere.
The play is structured in a circular and symmetrical way that mirrors the repetitive and monotonous nature of the work. The first act begins with the staff arriving at the kitchen in the morning and preparing for the breakfast rush. The second act begins with the staff arriving at the kitchen in the evening and preparing for the dinner rush. The first act ends with Peter's breakdown and departure from the kitchen. The second act ends with Peter's return to the kitchen after his recovery.
The play also uses various theatrical devices to create contrast and tension in the scenes. For example, Wesker uses silence, pauses, blackouts, music, etc. to create dramatic effects. He also uses cross-cutting, overlapping dialogue, chorus lines, etc. to create a sense of chaos and confusion.
The Reception: A Survey of the Critical and Popular Responses
The play was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1961, directed by John Dexter. It was part of Wesker's trilogy of plays that also included Chicken Soup with Barley (1958) and Roots (1959). The trilogy was considered as one of the most important contributions to the British "kitchen sink" drama movement that emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
The play received mixed reviews from critics and audiences at its premiere. Some praised it for its realism, originality, energy, and humor. Others criticized it for its lack of plot, character development, message, and coherence.
The Legacy: A Reflection on the Influence and Impact of the Play
The play is widely regarded as one of Wesker's best and most influential works. It is also considered as one of the classics of modern British drama. It has inspired and influenced many playwrights, directors, actors, and critics who have explored similar themes and styles in their own works.
The play is also relevant and resonant to the contemporary world, as it addresses issues and challenges that are still faced by many people today. It raises questions and concerns about work, love, class, identity, and diversity that are still pertinent and important in the globalized and multicultural society.
The play is also a testament to the power and beauty of human creativity and resilience. It shows how the kitchen staff, despite their hardships and difficulties, are able to express themselves and find joy in their work. They are able to create art and culture out of their mundane and ordinary tasks. They are able to transform their kitchen into a stage and their food into a performance.
Conclusion: A Recap of the Main Points and a Recommendation for Readers
In conclusion, Arnold Wesker's The Kitchen is a remarkable play that deserves to be read and appreciated by anyone who is interested in drama, literature, history, or society. It is a realistic and naturalistic drama that depicts the lives and struggles of the kitchen staff in a large London restaurant in the late 1950s. It explores themes such as work and alienation, love and loneliness, class and inequality, identity and diversity. It is written in a lively and dynamic style that uses various languages and dialects, as well as theatrical devices, to create contrast and tension. It has received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, but it has also been revived and adapted many times around the world. It has influenced and inspired many other works of art and culture. It is also relevant and resonant to the contemporary world, as it addresses issues and challenges that are still faced by many people today. It is also a testament to the power and beauty of human creativity and resilience.
We highly recommend you to read this play if you want to experience a captivating and realistic drama that will make you think, feel, laugh, cry, and wonder. You will not regret it!
FAQs: Five Common Questions and Answers about the Play
Q: Where can I get a free pdf copy of the play?
A: You can get a free pdf copy of the play from this link: https://www.pdfdrive.com/the-kitchen-e195144882.html
Q: Who is Arnold Wesker?
A: Arnold Wesker (1932-2016) was a British playwright, novelist, essayist, and activist. He was one of the most prolific and influential writers of his generation. He wrote over 50 plays, as well as novels, short stories, essays, memoirs, etc. He was also involved in various social and political causes, such as workers' rights, anti-fascism, anti-racism, etc.
Q: What is the "kitchen sink" drama movement?
A: The "kitchen sink" drama movement was a literary and artistic movement that emerged in Britain in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was characterized by its realism, social criticism, working-class perspective, and focus on domestic issues. It was influenced by the post-war social changes, such as immigration, urbanization, industrialization, etc. Some of the most famous writers of this movement were John Osborne, Shelagh Delaney, Alan Sillitoe, etc.
Q: What are some other works by Wesker that are similar to The Kitchen?
A: Some other works by Wesker that are similar to The Kitchen are Chicken Soup with Barley (1958) and Roots (1959), which are part of his trilogy of plays that also includes The Kitchen; Chips with Everything (1962), which is about the British air force; The Four Seasons (1965), which is about a couple's relationship; Shylock (1976), which is a revision of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice; etc.
Q: What are some other works by other writers that are similar to The Kitchen?
A: Some other works by other writers that are similar to The Kitchen are Look Back in Anger (1956) by John Osborne, which is about a disillusioned young man and his wife; A Taste of Honey (1958) by Shelagh Delaney, which is about a teenage girl and her mother; The Caretaker (1960) by Harold Pinter, which is about two brothers and a homeless man; The Birthday Party (1958) by Harold Pinter, which is about a boarding house and its guests; etc.