Themes

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 158

Samuel Beckett’s The Unnamable is the third book in his trilogy, the first being Molloy, and the second Malone Dies. Beckett’s novel is a narrative of voices who are loosely defined and seem to be a compilation of the narrator. One of the themes of the novel is the search for self, and identity. The lack of characters and plot adds to the idea that we are reading the inner thoughts of a person who is trying to sort out himself and the world around him.

Illustration of PDF document

Download The Unnamable Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Another theme of the book is the sense that life is a repetitive, eternal struggle. The sometimes disjointed narrative and long sentences contribute to the sense of helplessness that plagues such a life. The voice is filled with despair, with thought, with confusion, and finally, acceptance: “I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial
Previous

Critical Essays

Next

Characters