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History, Memories, and Communal Annihilation: Beckett's Endgame

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2015, 28(1), pp.183-202
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Noh, Aegyung 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Combined with the timing of its premiere, which was a little more than a decade after the end of the Second World War, Endgame, featuring a family and community of four last survivors paralyzed in the wretched hole of a shelter, invites historical approaches. Beckett withholds much information on the nature of the disastrous event which left mother nature and the majority of human life destroyed, but its trauma surely remains to be felt strong. A symptom of historical trauma is found in the survivors’ self-destructive and suicidal impulse to annihilate even the slightest seed that may enable the continuation of their communal existence. Hovering over the survivors’ community on stage are fragmented memories of a traumatic history and a drive towards its own annihilation. This article proposes that the echoes of the destructive energy transmitted from a historic catastrophe into the psyche of the survivors transform them into a mentally and physically crooked community which denies itself a process of reproduction in its downward movement towards a collapse.

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