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(He turns the telescope on the without.)
(He moves the telescope.)
Nothing … nothing … good … good … nothing… (78).
Although it is not certain whether Clov is deliberately not communicating what he really sees outside or he really sees nothing, Endgame appears to be taking place after some kind of war event; the stage is empty because the world it represents has been emptied. In the play when Clov utters “Light! How could anyone’s light be on?” (۴۱), it becomes clear that he is speaking as if a dreadful event has happened and extinguished life on Earth. Also, Hamm’s crying out “A rat! Are there still rats?” (۵۴) well supports this speculation about a catastrophe. Hence, it can be said that Beckett is particularly concerned with stripping away all external encumbrances to expose the bare zero. That is because he attempts to exhibit the pure existence of man in the absence of material externalities and away from the beguiling projections of the multitude of objects on being. In other words, the naked, unaccommodated images on the stage, both the characters and the objects, well reflect Deleuzean existential apprehension and straightforward display of what is placed there: being-itself.
The use of the objects, preference of chilly images and a deliberately designed dreadful external scene out of the windows of the room are all convenient for creating a bare atmosphere which is very similar to the bare existence. Both ‘bare existence’ and ‘bare setting’ are peculiar; and due to this, frightening for man. Therefore, the space of this play can exactly be paralleled with the theory of smooth space promoted by Deleuze.
۴٫۳٫۲ Endgame and Nomadic Characters
As Deleuze explains, nomadic character reveals the following traits:
goes toward these new regions where the connections are always partial and nonpersonal, the conjunctions nomadic and polyvocal, the disjunctions included, where homosexuality and hetero-sexuality cannot be distinguished any longer: the world of transverse communications, where the finally conquered nonhuman sex mingles with the flowers, a new earth where desire functions according to its molecular elements and flows. Such a voyage does not necessarily imply great movements in extension; it becomes immobile, in a room and on a body without organs—an intensive voyage that undoes all the lands for the benefit of the one it is creating (Anti-Oedipus 303).
So the same explanation can be aptly applied to Endgame in which the four characters belong to nowhere and they have been divided through their speech. First start with Hamm who depends on Clov and belongs to nowhere; similar situation can be detected where clov has nowhere to go and stays with Hamm place to go for that reason he has stayed with Hamm:
I’ll give you one biscuit per day.
One and a half.
Why do you stay with me?
Why do you keep me?
There’s no one else.
There’s nowhere else.
You’re leaving me all the same.
Therefore, Hamm and Clov neither belong to themselves nor any place. They are in the process of becoming word and silence and then come to the world of nothingness. In Not I, the organs-partial objects cling to the body without organs, and enter into the new syntheses of included disjunction and nomadic conjunction, of overlapping and permutation, on this body—syntheses that continue to repudiate the organism and its organization.
Throughout their writings, Deleuze and Guattari applaud solitary wanderers, men without family trees, men who repel attempts by the molar world to turn them into sons. In his discussion Deleuze argues that characters are surrounded by images, paintings, and statues of the father. But in this play in each case, something strange happens, something that blurs the image, marks it with an essential uncertainty, keeps the form from ‘taking’ but also undoes the subject, sets it adrift and abolishes any paternal function, when Hamm does not respect his parents and also Clov does not belong to any family relationship. Deleuze goes on to praise the vision of a “universal fraternity that no longer passes through the father, but is built on the ruins of the paternal function” (Critical and Clinical 78). The same explanation can be seen in the play when no one bounds to one another and all the characters are nomads wandering in the world of nothingness. Indeed, Beckett’s entire play is in a constant state of stuttering, quaking violently of the fragmented speech of all the characters, as well as their stammering movements and shuddering milieu. Ultimately, Endgame proves to be a world of stuttering, a world in which faltering is the language of liberation.
What if we consider all the geographical and psychological deterritorializations of the characters as “lines of flight”? Did their desire ultimately lead them towards reality? This deterritorialization from the interior to the exterior is one of the best models of anti-oedipal investments: this is the shift from the limitation of psychoanalytical familial investment to the multiplicity of schizophrenic social investment. Anything interior and secluded resembles “the solidity of the family as an institution” (Deleuze and Guattari 2: 50), but since for Guattari and Deleuze “every investment is social” (343) it connects to other desiring machines outside the boundary of the family, thus it joins the exteriority which is pregnant of all sorts of relations.
Therefore, this exteriority is the “reality” which desire produces: Krapp’s desire for the tapes takes him from the fantasy life to the reality of the dead life floating on it. The woman in Not I desires for becoming in order to escape her gloomy life. Also, in Endgame the characters reach the level of nothingness in their speech. In other words, the process of desiring-machines makes their investment social. This continues even after their return to the familial structure in the end.
This study attempted to examine how Samuel Beckett’s characterization, setting and use of language in his three plays, Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape, and Not I, illustrate his tendency to apply in his plays some Deleuzean concepts such as becoming, affect, smooth space, nomad character, and BWO. It was argued that the elements that Beckett includes in his plays display similarities with the Deleuzean notions, which gained prominence after the Second World War in the 20th century. Consequently, both Samuel Beckett and the Deleuze portray man in despair and in struggle due to the fact that he is experiencing a number of losses, such as loss of God, in a world devoid of necessary attributes. This leads man to search for his own being. In other words, man is longing for his existence to constitute his being in the Beckettian Universe. However, it is seen Beckett’s characters do not succeed in attaining perfect authenticity, and inventing themselves. Although his characters cannot become authentic men, Beckett does seem to aim at creating characters who do their best to achieve their essence.
In Chapter 2, the basic attributes of Deleuze’s attitude as a philosophical movement and the views of major nothingness are deployed. Then, Samuel Beckett’s nothingness is discussed. It is recognizable that there are similarities between significant traits of Deleuze’s movement and Samuel Beckett’s characters’ viewpoint. Firstly, Beckett sees men as characters who are devoid of meaning, and thus, desperate at ‘encountering themselves, surging up in the world, and defining themselves afterwards’ as Deleuze points out (28). According to Deleuze, since ‘existence precedes essence’, man finds himself in a continuous quest, which is usually into his consciousness
. In this sense, Samuel Beckett’s dominant female character in Not I can constitute a good example of such characters. She clearly delves into her consciousness although she tries to avoid this painful search for her being. Then, she encounters nothingness or her non-being, which is a common concern of Deleuze, and she is exposed to anxiety. At this point, Beckett again underscores his Deleuzean tendency by means of the woman’s encounter with nothingness. He asserts his view about the nature of anxiety.
Furthermore, Beckettian reduction of setting, language, characters and even the physical capabilities emphasizes Deleuze’s view in becoming, smooth space, nomad character, and BWO. These themes in Beckett’s plays reveal his tendency. For instance, the physical obstacles of Beckett’s characters in Endgame reflect the sense that man is desperate, and his painful condition is clearly inescapable. And they attempt to escape their condition by coming to the world of becoming.
Thus, within this context, it is observed that Beckett’s employment of the elements of becoming and BWO in plays displays the playwright’s stand that is in a considerable affinity with Deleuze’s. To illustrate, in Endgame Hamm has physical disabilities and he exhibits futile acts in a meaningless universe. This is because, both Beckett and Deleuze place man in a world of futility, meaningless deeds and a merciless situation.
In Chapter 4, at first Endgame is analyzed in terms of setting, stage and context, time concept, and characterization and language. One can notice that in the play Beckett depicts man as comfortless, cynical, and unable to comprehend the universe which the playwright designs as irrational. All the characters are in a weird context, which is quite extraordinary to the men watching the plays. In Endgame which takes place in a small room, Hamm is paralyzed and blind while Clov is unable to sit. Nagg and Nell are in two separate ashbins. Thus, they are all sharing this common but absurd situation of becoming a Beckettian character that is obliged to bear the traces of Deleuze’s]]>