Babble, Babble, Words: The Solitary Child, The Absent Father, and the Roles of Codependence, Love and Storytelling in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame
Samuel Beckett’s Endgame can be a very uncomfortable experience for readers or the audiences it is performed for. The atmosphere it creates is almost unrelentingly bleak, with very little signs of hope for the future or for the characters we’re introduced to. For victims of codependent relationships - particularly those that involved parental abuse, neglect and manipulation - the discomfort portrayed may be all too familiar. This essay explores Endgame as a depiction of the oppressive dynamics of a broken home which outlines the generational nature of trauma, poverty and disability. It examines the narrative through the lens of psychology, a discipline Beckett himself showed keen interest in - this is both clearly reflected in his writing and supported by his records. Citations from scholarly works in the field of psychology provide both historical and contemporary context. The essay particularly focuses on the role of storytelling within the play, which of course also functions as a story itself. Who is really served by the stories we tell on life’s stage - the audience, those we are close to, or ourselves?