Failed Quest in Samuel Beckett’s How It Is

Alireza Najafi, Parvin Ghasemi, Farideh Pourgiv


In this paper Beckett’s novel, How It Is, is discussed in the light of the monomyth of quest. It is argued that this novel does not follow the traditional framework of novel and it has an antihero of the twentieth century with a vague and uncertain quest. In most works of fiction, the quest is followed by fulfillment and accomplishment to make the protagonist worth his painstaking labor and suffering, while with Beckett’s characters, failure becomes the dominant issue. Most of his characters are narrators of their own tale who face failure of expression though they are obliged to express it. The characters with one syllable names of Bem, Bom and Pim represent the mankind stuck in the "mud" of the present unable to distinguish past, present or future. There is a constant tendency to reach the goal which is unattainable. 



Beckett, Quest, Monomyth, How It Is, Failure, Joseph Campbell

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