A social drama
4 men, 3 women
Mother is more of a social drama in post-modern quotation marks - the genre is shifted and ironized with historical hindsight. The configuration is almost archetypal; the cheerless past of workers´dens meets the pre-revolution reality of the decaying communist ideology which had once seemingly offered hope and salvation. Cause meets effect, and beginning meets end in a vicious circle of social demagogy and abstract „revolutionary struggle", The bearer of ideas about a brighter future is the workers´ leader, Zoban. Parasite and soap-box orator, hecomes to a working-class family when he wants a good meal, supplies Father with literature and employs Betty the maid as a leaflet distributor. The Mother sees it as her mission to keep the family „traditions of my old mother", imposing a strict order over the whole family without exception - they have to eat together, wear black, and if disobedient are locked in the cupboard, a family heirloom designated for the purpose. Zoban causes a revolutionary break in Mother´s „traditions" by starting to eat before the others, and thus unleashes a series of peculiar „accidental" deaths. At the end of the play, literally over a pile of corpses, Zoban and Mother seal a lethal new alliance of „revolutionary ideas and tradition" with a passionate kiss.
The play´s strongest dramatic device is its language, which reflects the mental state of the characters to perfection. A conglomerate of decaying remnants of dialect, slang and politico-ideological jargon, it creates unexpected, higly precise and often funny constructions and associations. Pitínský also uses well-known quotations, ironically slanted and inserted into altered contexts. However, the play´s cruelty (many of its ciritics talk of cynicism) and the strange inner monstrosity of its characters - human mutans - prompt not only nausea and disgust but also a strange kind of sympathy. These are living beings, after all, deeply unhappy in their deviance.
Translated into Slovak.
German translation with the title Die Mutter by Eva Profousová.