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Quotes

Quote #7

HAMM
I once knew a madman who thought the end of the world had come. He was a painter—and engraver. I had a great fondness for him. I used to go and see him, in the asylum. I'd take him by the hand drag him to the window. Look! There! All that rising corn! And there! Look! The sails of the herring fleet! All that loveliness!
(Pause.)
He'd snatch away his hand and go back to his corner. Appalled. All he had seen was ashes.
(Pause.)
He alone had been spared.
(Pause.)
Forgotten.
(Pause.)
It appears the case is…was not so…so unusual. (1.467)

What does Hamm mean that the madman was spared? Once hope is lost, does memory of a time when one had hope increase one's suffering that much more? Does Hamm see a certain hope in the madman – that perhaps Hamm is simply imagining his situation?

Quote #8

HAMM
Use your head, can't you, use your head, you're on earth, there's no cure for that! (1.537)

Why would the ability to use one's head be something that would need to be cured? What view of the world would one have to have for thought to seem like a disease?

Quote #9

CLOV(straightening up)
I love order. It's my dream. A world where all would be silent and still and each thing in its last place, under the last dust. (1.569)

In what ways have the characters maintained order in spite of their situation? In what ways have they fallen into chaos? What is the ultimate order that Clov imagines? Is longing for order linked with longing for death?

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