|worst paper ever written! yet quite meaningful (at least the end)
||[May. 13th, 2005|01:39 am]
|||||cafe tacvba - eres||]|
May 13, 2004
While At Play
In Samuel Beckett’s “Play” the theme of hopelessness and hope arise which bring the question to the table of whether there is any hope for human kind. Hopelessness plays a big part in this play. The three urns containing the heads of three people known as W1, W2 and M, all represent the dead as they are being in neither heaven nor hell, but not being in life either. They are deceased and having done some horrendous acts in their lifetime now have to suffer here in the urns with no one else but a light that shines on them every once in a while.
The term hopelessness is used to describe the lack of desire or having no expectation of fulfillment. Hopelessness would also negate any promise for the future. The three people inside the urns were involved in a love triangle affair. All three of them experience hopelessness because there is nothing for them to turn to. They keep repeating to themselves the events that brought them into this hellish half-light where they exist only to themselves alone and to the ominous light.
It is inevitable for each of these individuals to experience hopelessness. They all got what was coming to them. The character known as M in this play was seeing two women at the same time. He could not live with just one, he had to have both of them and in the end he ended up hurting both of them. His “love” for W1 was not even love at all. M says “She did not repulse me,” (p. 149), referring to W1. Just before that statement he swore to W1 that he could not live without her. He meant that declaration, but what he forgot to include was that he could not live without w2 either. He played these two women like objects. We don’t usually love a person who simply does not repulse us. There must be more feeling involved. A lot of people, I’m sure, did not repulse M, yet here he was thinking to himself that he could be with W1 simply because she did not repulse him.
Human hopelessness is all around us. Everyday people have some sort of feeling where the feel as if they cannot go on any longer. “Dying for dark - and the darker the worse.” (p. 157). W1 describes the way it is when there is no hope. She hopes for the dark, yet when darkness comes it feels worse. There is nothing to help her recover from what she’s done. There is only the reminder of what she did. That is all that she can think of, yet that is still better than the dark. It’s not any form of hope, but when the light shines on her she reminisces of what has been, it’s a better feeling that fills her up instead of the darkness that embraces her and makes her nonexistent.
“Play” is a poking at a wound forever. None of the three characters are any better for coming to understand the other. They all hold their grudges against the people who lay next to them, with no knowledge of them being there. To each of these three individuals the events that preceded them were so traumatizing and resentful that it haunts them for eternity. Their reaction to one another is brief intimacy. They are side by side but are not joined except for this recollection. This recollection where each one of them has their own point of view to tell. They each pour out how they feel about the other two, yet have no desire to stop and think about what the other two are feeling or what they are feeling towards them. None of the three are any better at coming to understand the other. They will forever be forlorn in their urn without end. Days and days will pass and all they will wait for is the light to shine on them to give them something to remember, something to do while they recollect their memories in the separate urns, expecting darkness.
Their hopelessness is continuous because it’s eternal. They are, each of them, recounting a history, a past where lies and deceit took place. They all have an individual fate, but all three have a connection. This reconnection to one another is what gives them the sense of hopelessness that they cannot help but feel. There will never be a resolution to their feelings of remorse. No conclusion will end their sorrow. The betrayal that M has exposed to both W1 and W2 is far beyond their life. It has reached them here in the afterlife, where there is nothing to do but recollect in their own, individual hellish half-light.
M warns adulterers to never admit (p. 150). He regrets having ever admitted to W1 about W2. Having admitted has brought him here to this hell where there is nothing to do but remember the past. Yet, even after admitting to W1 he didn’t take heed and stop seeing W2. He could not let go of either one of them. They were both part of his life. They were what he needed. It would make him miserable to let either one of them go. They were both, in a sense, his hope. In the end all they brought about his being hopeless. He had a totally different relationship with both of them. He couldn’t have intimacy with W1, but he loved her, and he couldn’t leave W2 because he enjoyed the intimacy they shared.
The light in “Play” serves as a sort of God. It is the only thing that comes into contact with each character. They speak to the light as they speak to themselves. They have no one else but themselves and the light, when the light ceases to be they have nothing. When the light comes on they have to recount what they’ve done. There’s no doubt that the light serves as a barrier between what they are now and what they were when they were still alive, committing these heinous acts so recollected. When the light is taken off them they cease to exist. They are there, but they don’t think, nor move, nor see anything. They hope for the light. The light brings them memory. It gives them something to do, even if it causes them the insatiable pain that was foretold in the past.
Humans all technically act the way W1, W2, and M are in this play. We tend to “play” with people’s emotions and don’t expect anything to happen to us, for it’s our own sake that we play with. That would be incorrect, as shown here in “Play.” Beckett sees life as all things changing, but not improving, things will only be unimproved. Life starts out as being helpless and in the end we die helpless. There is no emergence in life, nothing to gain, for life, from the moment one is born, is a trip downhill. Every day that passes is a day closer to the day we will, inevitably, pass away. Everything in between birth and death is how we are seen by other. How we are seen by others is what is meaningful to us in life. The way others see us is all that matters because we have nothing else to live for but other people. No body would want to be seen as what they really are. We live to please those around us, or at least try to please them. Beckett felt this last statement to be true. As in his other play “Rockaby,” The woman sitting in the rocking chair felt hopeless when she was born and now that she’s reached her end she sits in the same chair her mother once did and feels the same hopeless feeling. She sits there listening to herself speak. She rocks in her chair signifying life. Life ceases to be when we stop moving. So long as the chair is moving then so is life. The woman asks for more whenever the voice stops speaking to her. There’s an ounce of hope whenever she asks for more. Yet, the rocking eventually quits and death is only a breath away. We’re all heading the same way down the path of life, no matter who we are.
Humans are born with hopelessness. The same hopelessness that is felt by the three characters in this play. The same hopelessness that will eventually bring us to the end. There is no hope for humankind. Our destiny is foretold from the beginning. We don’t need a fortune teller to tell us what will happen in life, for death is what will happen. We will all die, and when we die we’ll die with the feeling of hopelessness. That same feeling that is felt from birth. Life is apparent, we’re born to die, everything we do in life is just motion, like the rocking in “Rockaby.” Life is just the image we produce to make it seem like we are inferring something within ourselves, when in fact all we have to do is wait. The time will come when we will die and the progression in life will not have mattered. The people that we wanted to so please will not matter anymore. Hopelessness will surround us and all we can do is hope for the best in the afterlife. Hope. We will always be hoping for something better, but hopelessness is much stronger, for in life, hopelessness is what finishes us off.