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Comparison between Zengin Mutfağı and The Kitchen

03/10/2022 Edebiyat

Both plays, The Kitchen by Arnold Wesker and Zengin Mutfağı by Vasıf Öngören are based on class distinction and desire to have more. Arnold Wesker, a communist, believes in the power of the brotherhood. Individual rebellion will only cause harm to oneself. Zengin Mutfağı starts with 15-16 June rebellion by DISK workers, which shows the importance of brotherhood as government had to declare a state of siege. Protagonist of Zengin Mutfağı, Selim despises communism and believes communists are self-centred and troublemakers. Everything must conform with government’s rules, so that people can live in harmony. The Kitchen, on the other hand, lacks a protagonist and instead focuses on two communities: servants and upper-class people who are not portrayed. Because servants are the core population, the play includes post-war drama characteristics. Unlike in pre-war dramas, the main character would be from the working class and would be seen working in the after war drama. Servants are usually in the kitchen, and they can only go to dining room, which is off stage, for serving; they are not authorized to go there whenever they want. Class distinction is so obvious with the rigid door dividing two halls. Servants also have distinction within. Not having time to share their feelings, opinions or dreams, they retaliate against each other or laugh, cry, make love, shortly do whatever they want as kitchen is their small room in the society. Everybody pushing everybody else out of the way just to become prominent is so brutal. But they can’t be themselves in front of the lords, so they act like puppets. Even the boss is a puppet as he reports to a superior, indicating capitalism. In Zengin Mutfağı, the female character also aspires to move up the social ladder. Being servant in a wealthy kitchen, she gets bored and wants to be her own boss by marrying Selim. Even things don’t work out as she wishes, she still persists in her way, regardless of tiredness. However, she sees upper class divine and can’t get enough of it. The human desire to have more can be seen in both plays. In terms of narration, Arnold Wesker thinks that playwriting must reach the hearts of the audience and be inspired by real life, a concept known as realism. His political ideas should be reflected in his playwriting, and he should be able to influence people through it. Besides, his work is autobiographical, as kitchen was his working field. He put a lot of effort to become a chef. However, Vasıf Öngören was influenced by Bertolt Brecht’s Epic theatre concept. Instead of imbuing people with his own thoughts, he kept them as observers. By doing so, he provided people with the opportunity to have unprejudiced minds. One can see clear links between these works based on the dates they were published. The Kitchen premiered in 1959 at The Royal Court Theatre in a shortened version; the full version followed in 1961 at the same venue. As a result, one must consider Britain in the 1950s. Economic growth was tremendous in the post-war period. Low global inflation, increased free trade, and tariff reductions all contributed to growth. Because of the economy’s rapid growth, there were labour shortages. This resulted in mass immigration from Commonwealth countries in the 1950s and 1960s to help with labour market shortages. People fought because of immigration from Commonwealth countries, particularly between black and white people. Black people would claim less money than white people because they already lived in poor conditions as a result of racism, putting them ahead of white people. Greed of workplace in the game fits those times perfectly. Zengin Mutfağı was released in 1977 and is based on the 15-16 June 1970 rebellion. People collaborated and rebelled against the government as a result of a law change that significantly restricted workers’ freedom of choice of unions. In order to deal with the crisis, the government was forced to declare a state of siege. As a result, it can be said that the events that occurred had a significant impact on literary works, though narration varies from author to author.

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