Existential Vision in Beckett's Murphy

In the novel Murphy Beckett has expressed his 'existential vision. Beckettian characters are often portrayed as frustrated and disillusioned creature. They appear as if they are fed up with the mechanical existence and stasis of life. Beckett's characters are prone to take life as repetition of the same routine work. We live today the way we live future the way we lived past and are living present.

Samuel Beckett

In the course of life we are doing nothing more than repeating the same act. In the process of living our lives, we are doing nothing more than generating facilities of life. Our perpetual struggle to live does not lead to progression. No matter how repeatedly we push our lives in the direction, we are fated to get enmeshed (trapped) in the status of life. No creative sense and liberating meaning gets revealed in the due course of living a life. According to Beckett, we try to find out specific meaning and goal behind our existence. But we see our lives driven by no specific force. We find ourselves simply repeating the same routine work. The more we struggle to catch a glimpse of purpose behind our existence the more mechanically repetitive and sterile we find our life. By living our lives as such we feel as if we are heading towards the path of progression. But according to Beckett we are really heading, towards the path of non-progression and non-involvement. If we become existentially aware of our real situation we become so self-conscious that we happen to choose the life of insanity and absurdism. Hence, according to Beckett insanity is an escape from the existential pang of being enmeshed in the stasis and sterility of life.

In the novel 'Murphy' Beckett has represented Murphy as a kind of youth who has turned away from this world which demands physical and mental actions. Murphy has understood that by living a life, by making physical and mental actions and by existing as such, we can't move towards the destination of progression. Murphy found his life as sterile and static if lived as such. He found no idea of existential break-through in the art of living. He found life circular. He didn't find life horizontally progressive and linearly creative. Life appeared to be enormously mechanical and boring. Life seemed to him nothing more than a meaningless collection of facilities. Life was, according to Murphy, enveloped with a haunting and monotonous routine work.

Having found that sterile and non-progressive mode of existence Murphy came to the conclusion that it is better not to be born. Even if we are born it is better to die soon since we can't die soon, since we can't die soon, we have to choose the life of insanity and the world of nothingness to escape from this sterile and mechanical existence. This is the existential vision of Beckett. Murphy embodies this existential vision of Beckett. Murphy was fed up with circular existence and routine work. He found the world of nothingness and oblivion as a better place to feel relieved from the pang of absurdist existence and circular routine works.