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Lindsay’s Formal Post on Samuel Beckett’s Endgame

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“Look at the world-and look at my TROUSERS.”

Nagg in the tailor’s voice said this during his story of the tailor and the customer. In this story, the tailor is consistently messing up and delaying the customer’s orders for a pair of trousers. The customer becomes outraged and remarks that God created the world in 6 days while the tailor has taken 3 months for his trousers.  The tailor responds to the customer’s anger with this quote. In telling this anecdote, many delays and repetitions are revealed which helps us notice that Hamm’s life is the epitome of repetitions and delays.

The many delays and repetitions that occur in the story are the amount of time taken to complete the trousers and the reason the customer becomes so angry is because his order is put off. Hamm becomes furious about Clov’s need for ordering the objects on the ground. He is more frustrated with the fact that his life is one full of delays, causing him to hate the world around him. The customer is disappointed with the delay of man’s natural creation of the trousers, which can parallel Hamm’s disappointment of his disability in which he curses the world for his deformity. He satisfies in knowing that all existence will fade to nothing, which is a clear indicator for his hatred of the world. He frequently compares earth to hell by commenting that earth’s landscape is lifeless. Both of these scenarios connect horror with beauty: in the story’s case, God’s creation of the world is horror while man’s creation of trousers is beauty and in Hamm’s case, God’s creation of the world is also horror but hell is considered beauty.

Also in this story, Nagg switches voices between the 4 characters (himself, narrator, tailor, and customer) just as how Hamm is the foremost actor and virtual narrator directing the 3 other characters around him. He is terrified of being alone which is why Clov is not allowed to leave and he curses upon his parents every time they emerge from their ashbins. Hamm’s need for control is brought about from the delays occurring in his life. Ultimately, I feel his controlling behavior results because he is so unhappy with the way his life is going that in order to feel any satisfaction, he is going about it in this way. This will temporarily fulfill his contentment until he brings himself into the dark place of cursing the world for his inept self. These delays cause Hamm to act the way he does just as how it causes the customer to act in the way he does.

Written by lglotzer

October 3rd, 2010 at 8:28 pm