Psychological Estrangement; Beckett and Psychological Estrangement: a Story in Progress; How They Left Us.
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Psychological estrangement as a theme and technique will be thoroughly explored with the help of Beckett’s trilogy Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, because these three novels are a good example of this literary phenomenon, and could even be considered as an example of ‘meta-estrangement’, a type of writing that is estranging about estrangement on the most general level – the book as a whole – of a literary work. Beckett, considered to be a postmodernist author, uses literary techniques such as syntax, dialogue, plot, and setting in a unique way to explore estranging themes like loneliness, death, and the passing of time; his most important, and at the same time most extreme, form of psychological estrangement – meta-estrangement – is to regard life as a story in progress. Furthermore, Martin Esslin – who writes about Beckett’s early plays in The Theatre of the Absurd – discusses the main subject of for example Waiting for Godot, and this subject often runs parallel to the theme of psychological estrangement. This reveals that psychological estrangement is an important theme in Beckett’s trilogy, because Beckett writes about it in both his drama and in this work of prose . Before psychological estrangement will be investigated in a research essay, it is important to remark that this subject will also be the theme of a short story, from page 20 to 28 of the thesis. This is in an effort to explore this phenomenon not only in theory, but also in practice.