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The Chairs

The Chairs


by Eugene Ionesco

The Chairs Dreams, Hopes, and Plans Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used Donald M. Allen's translation.

Quote #1

Old Woman: "You are very gifted, my darling. You could have been head president, head king or even head doctor, or general, if you had wanted to, if only you'd had a little ambition in life..." (16)

This quote seems to show that the Old Man's disappointing, meaningless existence results from the fact that he never had any big dreams. He's a nobody because he never really tried to accomplish anything. He never had any real dreams or plans.

Quote #2

Old Woman: "all is not lost, all is not spoiled, you'll tell them everything, you will explain, you have a message...you must live, you have to struggle for your message..." (88)

Just before the Old Woman says this to her husband, he's totally freaking out about his meaningless life. When she reminds him of his great message he seems to perk up a bit. It's unclear as to whether he's actually been working on this supposed message or not. The fact that he's been working on a great message hasn't come up before, which makes us wonder if it's true at all. It's quite possible that the old couple just decides to imagine that he's been striving for something his entire life. Perhaps they pretend he's been working on something in an attempt to create meaning where there is none.

Quote #3

Old Man: "I have a message, that's God's truth. I struggle, a mission, I have something to say, a message to communicate to humanity, to mankind..." (89)

The idea of having a great message for humanity definitely perks up the weepy Old Man. He now has a mission, a goal for the future, which has given him renewed purpose in life. If he can get his message across to the guests tonight, his life won't have been wasted. Of course, as we mention in the entry above, it's entirely possible that he has no message at all and that his dream of being somebody is really just that: a dream.

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