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The Chairs

The Chairs


by Eugene Ionesco

The Old Man Timeline and Summary

  • Stares out the window at the boats on the water.
  • Complains that it gets dark much sooner than it used to.
  • At his wife's request, does an impression of the month of February.
  • Resists telling his wife the story he tells every night.
  • Tries to tell the story but laughs so much it's unintelligible.
  • Cries when his wife reminds him that his mother is dead.
  • Remembers that he has a message that will save all of humanity.
  • Says that everybody in the world is coming over tonight to hear the message spoken by an Orator.
  • Greets the first guest, an invisible Lady.
  • Shows great respect to the next invisible guest, who is a Colonel.
  • Regrets not having pursued a relationship with the invisible Belle.
  • Denies that he ever had a son.
  • Scurries around like crazy as more and more guests arrive.
  • Bursts into tears when the invisible Emperor shows up.
  • Seems surprised when the Orator actually does arrive.
  • Gives a long speech about how hard he's worked on the great message.
  • Declares that his mission in life is now complete.
  • Kills himself by jumping out the window into the waters below.