Sense of Alienation in Murphy

Murphy is Beckett's most important novel that expresses the sense of alienation in different level. Murphy's mental alienation, social alienation, physical alienation and contextual alienation are some major aspects alienation in Murphy. Most striking sense of alienation by Murphy is his mental alienation.

Samuel Beckett

Mentally Murphy is completely alienated. He divides himself into three parts: The body, the mind and the soul. His mind thinks to torture his body so that his bodily things, pleasure will be forgotten and the soul will be purified for him.

He dies to get the ultimate freedom. “To be or not to be" is the problem of Hamlet in Shakespeare's drama Hamlet. Here also Murphy lies in the same position. Hamlet's problem can be well compared with Murphy's problem. Death for Murphy is ultimate freedom. Murphy’s mentality can be compared with absurdist character's feature. He is meditating in absurdist manner. His mental alienation can be compared with Buddhist's sense of character. He wants to forget all kinds of physical anxiety by meditating in absurdist manner. He wants to release his soul from the body because the soul dominates our bodily desires.

He is loved by everyone followed by everyone in the novel, but he doesn't love anyone. Murphy lives Murphy kind of human life, “Murphy is Murphy". His mental alienation results his life in unconventional life. He doesn't consult his own problem with anybody. So, mental alienation is most striking sense of alienation in Murphy.

Another broad aspect of alienation in Murphy is social alienation. Socially too Murphy is highly alienated. He is presented as homeless character. There is not a harmonious social order in Murphy's life. Neither Murphy is concerned about, society, nor does society include Murphy as a common social being. There is no one who accompanies Murphy. His identity in society is what he does. But he never does any ordered and regular, common behaviors. At the beginning he is presented as an engaged character with Cunihan, but later Counihan's relation is near with Neary and Murphy's relation is near with Celia with whom too Murphy doesn't keep long- lasted relation. Everywhere there is only inconsistency in Murphy’s behaving in society. Job, money, regular life, behaves all are appearing and disappearing like as the water bubble. So, social alienation is an equally forceful sense of alienation in Murphy. Physically too Murphy is completely alienated character. He moves always alone. There is no any character in the novel who accompanies Murphy throughout the holistic plot development of the novel. Everywhere he is alone. He proves himself that he was born by mistake and his ultimate destination is dying as quickly as he can, which is completely absurdist idea. He meets so many people during the entire life journey of his life, but after all he is all alienated. Neither his love relation gave him the life friend nor did his job relation include him in the company of other social being rather everywhere he finds alienation. If there is anything that lies with Murphy ever it is his loneliness, physical loneliness. So, physically too Beckett presents Murphy as an alienated novel.

Beckett's most important target to depict Murphy as an alienated character is to show the contextual alienated world of the 30s and 40s. When Beckett wrote Murphy the whole world had faced the destructive World War First. As a result the contextual situation of contemporary period was filled with uncertain of the future, uncertain of life, nothingness, meaninglessness of life, drawing of death, lack of communication of understanding among one another, the unpredictability of life, alienated environmental situation is depicted by the characterization of Murphy. In that sense, Murphy is a representative character of the contextual alienated world of the 1930s and early 40s. So, the sense of contextual alienation is another main aspect of Beckett in Murphy. Thus, the sense of alienation in Murphy is the most important aspect of novelist's focus. Physical, mental, Social and contextual alienations give the vision of alienation in almost all aspects of the novel. After all, whether it is mental, or social, or physical or contextual the main thing is that the sense of alienation is prevailed in every step of the novel. There is only sense of alienation in everywhere.