's younger counterpart in Harold Pinter
's masterpiece The Birthday Party
. Described in the script as McCann, a man in his thirties
, McCann is Goldberg's less experienced sidekick. He is nervous
and unsure of himself in Act 1, emphasising Goldberg
's self-assured manner. When 'the job' is underway, however, McCann is a smooth performer
. He starts the work that Goldberg continues later in the interrogation scene by stopping Stanley from going out
, something invested with much significance over the play. He is a fake like Goldberg, but less fake. He is less practised and instead of being at ease when hoodwinking Meg
, he is still a little uptight and lets his mentor
do the talking.
He is clearly a Goldberg in development, doing some of the spadework with breaking down Stanley, and reminiscing a little about his 'past'. To an extent he serves as the physical arm of Goldberg's mental attack, as is shown most clearly when he assaults Stanley with a chair. Through him, Pinter makes obvious the significance of sitting and standing, which is hard to miss even when you see it for the first time. From the moment Stanley 'Gets in that seat!' as ordered by McCann, he is a broken man, and no hope remains for him. He does not break down at any juncture, being neither as fake as Goldberg nor as pressured as Stanley. He Irish nationality is very significat, as he demands; 'What about Drogheda? What about the blessed Oliver Plunket? You betrayed our land!'. The disparity of the status of the Jewish Goldberg and the Irish McCann as enforcers of conformity should not be overlooked.