The Birthday Party

by

Harold Pinter

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Lulu Character Analysis

A young woman who visits Meg and Petey’s boarding house. Before McCann and Goldberg arrive, she tells Stanley that he ought to go outside for some air, prompting him to invite her to run away with him. When she asks where they’d go, though, he simply says, “Nowhere,” and then declines her invitation to go on a walk. Later, Lulu comes to Stanley’s birthday party and flirts with Goldberg, telling him that she has always liked older men and that he looks like the first man she ever loved. During the game of “blind man’s buff,” she and Goldberg continue flirting and fondling one another. When Stanley plays the blind man, though, the party takes a dark turn and, when the lights cut out, he approaches Lulu and attempts to rape her. Thankfully, Goldberg and McCann stop him, and Lulu and Goldberg presumably continue their romantic evening, as made evident by the conversation they have the following morning, when she accuses him of having sex with her without having any intention of starting a relationship. “You taught me things a girl shouldn’t know before she’s been married at least three times!” she laments, but Goldberg only says that now she’s “a jump ahead.” With this, McCann enters and tries to get her to confess her sins, an attempt that drives her out of the boarding house.

Lulu Quotes in The Birthday Party

The The Birthday Party quotes below are all either spoken by Lulu or refer to Lulu. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Ambiguity, Meaninglessness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Samuel French edition of The Birthday Party published in 2011.
Act One Quotes

STANLEY. (Abruptly.) How would you like to go away with me?

LULU. Where?

STANLEY. Nowhere. Still, we could go.

LULU. But where could we go?

STANLEY. Nowhere. There’s nowhere to go. So we could just go. It wouldn’t matter.

LULU. We might as well stay here.

STANLEY. No. It’s no good here.

LULU. Well, where else is there?

STANLEY. Nowhere.

LULU. Well, that’s a charming proposal. (Pause.) Do you have to wear those glasses?

STANLEY. Yes.

LULU. So you’re not coming out for a walk?

STANLEY. I can’t at the moment.

LULU. You’re a bit of a washout, aren’t you?

Related Characters: Stanley Webber (speaker), Lulu (speaker)
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lulu Character Timeline in The Birthday Party

The timeline below shows where the character Lulu appears in The Birthday Party. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One
Ambiguity, Meaninglessness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
...unseen person. “Hullo, Mrs. Boles,” says the new voice. “It’s come.” When this conversation concludes, Lulu walks into the living room with a parcel in her arms. Greeting Stanley, she tells... (full context)
Ambiguity, Meaninglessness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Isolation, Freedom, and Independence Theme Icon
Lulu remarks that the boarding house is “stuffy” and suggests that Stanley should get some air,... (full context)
Ambiguity, Meaninglessness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Isolation, Freedom, and Independence Theme Icon
...nowhere to go,” Stanley continues. “So we could just go. It wouldn’t matter.” In response, Lulu says that they “might as well stay here,” but Stanley upholds that “it’s no good... (full context)
Order, Chaos, and Sanity Theme Icon
Lulu leaves, a knock sounds on the door, and Stanley exits as Goldberg and McCann enter... (full context)
Order, Chaos, and Sanity Theme Icon
Meg hands Stanley the parcel that Lulu brought to the house. When he opens it, he sees that it’s a small drum.... (full context)
Act Two
Isolation, Freedom, and Independence Theme Icon
...pronounces her words “beautiful” and orders McCann to turn on the lights. At this point, Lulu slips in and meets Goldberg, who kisses her hand and immediately begins to flirt with... (full context)
Ambiguity, Meaninglessness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Isolation, Freedom, and Independence Theme Icon
When the lights go on again, Meg and McCann fall into conversation while Goldberg and Lulu flirt with one another. As each pair converses, their sentences overlap in a strange cacophony,... (full context)
Isolation, Freedom, and Independence Theme Icon
While Goldberg and Lulu flirt—Lulu disclosing that she likes older men and that Goldberg looks like her first true... (full context)
Order, Chaos, and Sanity Theme Icon
Isolation, Freedom, and Independence Theme Icon
...Meg finds McCann, who—when he plays the blind man—finds Stanley. All the while, Goldberg and Lulu fondle one another. As McCann blindfolds Stanley, he takes his glasses, breaks them, and backs... (full context)
Ambiguity, Meaninglessness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Guilt and Transgression Theme Icon
Order, Chaos, and Sanity Theme Icon
Isolation, Freedom, and Independence Theme Icon
...McCann tries to find the flashlight, Goldberg barking at him the whole time until, suddenly, Lulu screams because Stanley is approaching her. “Who’s that?” McCann asks, but Lulu has fainted, and... (full context)
Act Three
Ambiguity, Meaninglessness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Isolation, Freedom, and Independence Theme Icon
...McCann repeats the process until Goldberg “breathes deeply” and “shakes his head,” at which point Lulu enters the living room, having come from upstairs. (full context)
Ambiguity, Meaninglessness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Guilt and Transgression Theme Icon
Sensing that Lulu wants to speak to Goldberg in private, McCann steps out. “I’ve had enough games,” she... (full context)
Order, Chaos, and Sanity Theme Icon
Isolation, Freedom, and Independence Theme Icon
After Lulu leaves, McCann goes upstairs and fetches Stanley, who arrives dressed in “striped trousers, black jacket,... (full context)