Secondly, Deleuzean themes of becoming, smooth space, BWO, and nothingness in language in Endgame were explored in Chapter 4. To start with, the theme of ‘becoming’is examined in the play. According to Deleuze, as there is no essence to define the existence of man, man investigates the emptiness of his existence. Beckett’s characters are in this Deleuzean state. Both Hamm and Clov are anxious and in suffering because of the extreme strangeness of the setting they are in, and the emptiness of their existence in the process of becoming. However, there are instances in which some characters attempt to affirm themselves by means of either mastery over the others as in the case of Hamm. Besides, Beckett’s characters exhibit ‘man with his challenges to exist’. There are some challenges like physical obstacles taken for granted; however, the characters are after creating their beings as a response to those challenges. Also, for characters language and the presence of another character become tools to invent themselves knowing that existence precedes their essence. Characters, especially Hamm assert himself in these ways. Then, all the characters are there to solve their problem of existence, or at least are exposed to the suffering of this obligatory condition.
Beckett portrays characters who are liable to the pain of life since they are lonely and free. There is no deity or anyone else to help them. These result in an infinite distress for the characters, which means life-long suffering. Hence, it seems that, like Deleuze, Beckett is intensely concerned with ‘modes of becoming’. In addition to the unbearable pain of existing, the sense of anguish haunts Beckett’s characters. The mood of anguish stems from either there being no deity to check the correctness of man’s deeds or his choosing and deciding for both himself and all humanity. Moreover, the anxiety in Beckett’s characters seems to be the sort that is the result of being aware of the ‘voices from the depth’, and eluding them. To illustrate, the woman seems to intend to listen to her depths, but then she prefers to turn to her voice. As a result, anxiety increases due to the fact that she is afraid that one day she will fail to continue in the same way. This means that Beckett’s characters are exposed to the knowledge that they are in “anxiety in its nakedness, [which] is always the anxiety of ultimate nonbeing” (Tillich, 38).
For Heidegger man is thrown into the world and left alone. While he has no option to change this state. Similarly, all the characters in Endgame are thrown onto the stage as onto the earth. For Beckett’s characters existence becomes a matter of choice as revealed in Clov’s choice for leaving or staying with Hamm. Apart from becoming and affect, BWO is a preoccupying theme. For Deleuze, BWO is the concern that can provide man with a better comprehension of non-being. In a way, it is the negated form of being. That is why the playwright establishes the feeling of death in the play. This is achieved either through a waiting for an end or increasing reducedness and level of anxiety. This means attitude towards death: one regards it as an end of punishment, as seen in the cases of Hamm and Clov. As a consequence, becoming and BWO are present in Beckett’s plays in order to help man get a better understanding of non-being, and thus being.
Man’s inventing his own grand meaning for existence suggests authenticity in an existentialist sense. That is to say, when man re-unites and re-organizes his life in accordance with independently-chosen objectives, he becomes authentic; otherwise, he is inauthentic. The willful self-definition of man for authenticity is another major theme to be observed in Beckett’s plays. Firstly, the playwright provides the hopeless ground for the characters necessary to be able to perceive a deeper level of meaning for their existence and for their self-definition. However, all of the characters cannot completely succeed in defining their selves. Then, they fail to be authentic despite the convenient conditions created by the playwright in the plays. But Beckett makes his characters access authenticity to some extent in some instances, in the sense that they at least try to avoid becoming inauthentic. To illustrate, these characters refuse to end, finish or quit what they are doing, and thus they seem to have re-centred their lives around the new objectives of being purposeless and resisting the void to bear the heavy burden of anxiety. This may be Beckett’s way to attain authenticity. Beckett makes somewhat authentic characters out of Nell and Nagg, too. They live as happily as they can despite their dreadful situation of being confined in ashbins. In this manner, they re-centre their lives around living without despair and delusion. Consequently, it is necessary for man to realize how futile it is to busy himself with some dismal deeds to attain authenticity in a condition which has shaken his very ground of being. In a full Deleuze’s sense, authenticity is not attained by Beckett’s characters in his plays. However, in Beckett authenticity takes another shape, and is achieved by his characters to some extent. In other words, it is suggested that being at least on the way to authenticity might be regarded as becoming authentic.
The inescapable fact of coming into such a world is itself displayed as an example of being forlorn for all the characters. They all have to confront the ruthless fact that they are in the world with no God, and they have to confront the consequences of this situation. Naturally being forlorn also leads to anger and despair. And despair appears as an outcome of uncertainty and incomprehensibility in man’s life. Beckett creates such settings in the plays that there seems to be few vestiges of life after a possible catastrophe. Besides, all the characters are devoid of the many attributes of an ordinary man. For instance, they lack the ability of complete communication with either the other characters or God. Then, these give an air of despondency to the plays, which approximates Beckett to Deleuze’s theme of becoming in order to escape the world of being.
Lastly, becoming and BWO have been investigated through Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape, and Not I. Nothingness is a necessity for man to define himself for Deleuze. Likewise, Beckett reduces everything in his two plays like setting, characters and language to the level of non-existence. In this way, he opens a door for his characters, and also for the people who read or watch them, so as to ‘explore self’ through the negative. Apart from these, Beckett plays with consciousness as a potential nothingness in the plays. Consequently, the more nothingness is approached by the characters, the more becoming becomes probable for both Beckett and Deleuze.
All plays share some Deleuzean projrcts in common. However, when compared with each other in terms of their relation and closeness to the view of Deleuze, Endgame is likely to be seen as more Deleuzean. That is because, Endgame is more minimalistic and barren than the other play in terms of the number of characters, physical abilities of the characters, setting, the number of the objects on the stage, and lastly the language, especially the shortened dialogues, besides intensified suffering. All these mark Endgame as much more Deleuzean in comparison. Similarly, the character Hamm in Endgame might read as the most Deleuzean character with respect to his inability to move, his deeds to busy himself and his self-questioning, which he often escapes.
Samuel Beckett maintains a Deleuzean outlook in his plays Endgame, Krapp’s Last Tape, and Not I due to the fact that the playwright employs some Deleuzean themes such as becoming, nomad character, smooth space, and BWO. Reduced language, characters which are not developed, weird setting and lack of a conventional plot are the characteristics which make Beckett different from the other playwrights.
Evident from the Beckettian characterization, setting and use of language in Endgame, Not I, and Krapp’s Last Tape, Samuel Beckett writes on some Deleuzean themes like becoming, BWO, nomad character, and smooth space which discloses his inclination toward Deleuze. In this way, the Beckettian characters in the plays display a state of suffering in which they are indeed experiencing a difficult journey to becoming although the plays are almost reduced to immobility. None of his characters can attain full authenticity in the plays since Beckett’s plays are closed to change. However, the frozen pictures of extraordinary characters, who are exposed to the unbearable tiredness of the way leading to smooth space, and the weird setting in addition to a reduced language of less communication have an impact on both the readers and the audiences of Endgame, Not I, and Krapp’s Last Tape. While Beckett’s characters fail to be authentic men, the playwright manages to show what sort of a thing to exist is, and the fact that man is obliged to attain authenticity in order to avoid nothingness, and thus, he has to invent himself. In a way, Beckett makes use of Deleuzean negation in his characters. It is known that positive can only come from negative; the characters are like the negations of the audiences and the readers. Consequently, putting the experience of existence by means of his characters on the stage is what Beckett does so as to make authenticity accessible to the audience and the reader.
5.2 Summing Up
In this study a Deleuzean machine is set to motion on the working of the desiring-machines and the way the motor of this machine can operate accurately through life and death. Since for Deleuze everything exists only through its sexual connection and relation to other machines, thus existence and life is produced through connections. Equally, every new connection is keen to connect to other machines or to disorganize its previous connection for