Modernist Literature in Krapp´s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett

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In Krapp’s last tape by Samuel Becket there are three characteristics that make the piece a modernist one. The play’s dialogue, technology, and the fragmentation of the piece, are traits that would be often used in modernist literature. Although every writer had a different way to approach these traits, it is clear that in Krapp’s last tape they were meant to create a modernist case. The play is set up as a monologue. The monologue element is not a trait specifically used in modernist writing because it has been universally used in every era like Romanticism and the Victorian era. Although the monologue is not a modernist element, the way it is used in Krapp’s Last Tape makes it a modernist characteristic. The monologue in this drama was not directed towards the audience but to himself. The usage of an internal monologue led to a comprehension of Krapp’s character. A clear example of the internal monologue would be when Krapp is comparing and contrasting himself to his younger self on the tape. “Just been listening to that stupid bastard I took myself for thirty years, hard to believe I was ever as bad as that. Thank God that’s all done anyway”. (1383) Krapp in this frame is defining himself since there is no one else he could define himself against except from his former self. In the monologue Krapp is talking to himself and constantly referring himself to the voice in the tape in order to understand who he is, although it is not conclusive that he is aware of that. This monologue is the classification of Krapp’s character and his place in society. Which we find out that this old man didn’t stand well in society due to the characterization. The comprehension of one’s identity and self-belonging in society is... ... middle of paper ... ...e, where the dialogue doesn’t make sense or jumps from present to past or aren’t coherent. The example of “Everything there, everything on this old muckball, all the light and dark and famine and feasting of…(hesitates)…the ages !( in a shout)Yes! (Pause) Let that go! Jesus! Take his mind of his homework! Jesus!” (1383) displays fragmented the monologue is. The stream of consciousness was orally pouring out of Krapp’s mouth, he wasn’t able to restrain himself from speaking. His mind keeps associating with irrelevant thoughts that often did not makes sense in the outer frame, however, they had a meaning in the inner frame. His thoughts are connected with repressed emotions however not completely coherent. Although they were spontaneous they had some meaning. Both Krapp’s dialogue and the tape recording make the play an unprocessed drama and a puzzle.
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