“Endgame” by Samuel Beckett is definitely fitting in the current state of our lives. It’s easy to see how this text is uncomfortable. Endgame shows the crushing repetitive loneliness of life. Constantly moving in a circle, expressing the same emotions, having the same conversations. I thought there was a great thought in the video about how crazy and repetitive our lives would seem if it were recorded, especially now on quarantine.
I completely agree with this sentiment. If somebody watched me lay in bed for 16 hours a day, get up and take a shower while blasting the same 10-15 songs every time, go back to my room, check the fridge every five minutes, make the same stupid jokes on Call of Duty, all while having a couple mental breakdowns a day – they would probably feel uncomfortable too. But Endgame also shows the repetitive nature of life on a larger scale, which I would say is even more uncomfortable. It shows the repetitive (and possibly toxic) nature of some relationships in life. For instance, the relationship between Hamm and Clov. They are both so attached to each other yet are constantly annoyed with each other. They have some underlying level of connection that can’t seem to be broken. It’s easy to imagine them from the perspective of a couple and it’s hard not to believe that that was Beckett’s intention. They seem to always be at odds yet they are the perfect fit for each other. Hamm cannot stand and Clov cannot sit.
Another aspect of the play that was very uncomfortable was Hamm’s general fuck it attitude towards life. He didn’t care that Nell, his own mother, died. Why would Beckett have Hamm not care about this? I can only imagine Beckett is trying to reinforce how death is just part of that cycle and that everybody we care about will die so it doesn’t make sense to get so heartbroken about it. That idea is uncomfortable. The idea that none of it matters.
I think part of the reason that idea is so uncomfortable is because I agree with it. I think it would be less uncomfortable if I disagreed because then I could at least have a “Well must suck to look at it that way” perspective. But, I agree. I do think that at the end of the day life is kind of pointless. I don’t believe in an afterlife. I believe that this is all we have but at the same time there is no point to having it. I appreciate the perspective that maybe Beckett is telling us there’s no point so that we are inspired to do what we want in life instead of worrying too much. However, I find that this line of thinking doesn’t really have that impact on me. It just results in me not caring about anything. Maybe that’s my fault and there’s something I’m still not understanding. Either way, I appreciate the fact that Beckett is able to be so raw and real with such an original way of getting the point across.