Themes

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

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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.

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.”

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