A: Samuel Beckett Pf: 1981, Buffalo, New York State Pb: 1982 G: Monodrama in 1 act S: Rocking chair on bare stage, indeterminate period C: 1fA prematurely old woman W, with unkempt grey hair, wearing a black evening gown and headdress, rocks in her rocking chair, speaking short, often repeated phrases in time with her recorded voice. She knew it was ‘time she stopped’, so she ceased going to and fro and sat in her chair by the window looking out at other windows. All the blinds were down in the other windows (the occupants were dead?), but her blind remained up. Then one day she went ‘down the steep stair’, lowered her blind, and settled to rocking in her chair as her mother had done before death overtook her.
A: Samuel Beckett Pf: 1981, Buffalo, New York State Pb: 1982 G: Monodrama in 1 act S: Rocking chair on bare stage, indeterminate period C: 1f
Beckett was obsessed with his mother, the person who gave him the unwanted gift of life, and whose possessive love haunted much of his adult life. Here, as in Footfalls, Beckett meditates on the desolation, isolation, and repetition of life (especially for the widowed or unmarried woman), as one waits for death. The mesmerizing effect of the short beautifully phrased lines as W rocks, is suddenly shattered with the verbal violence of the ending: ‘stop her eyes | fuck life | stop her eyes | rock her off | rock her off.’