eyes just slits, because of the glare. I bent over her to get them in the shadow and they opened. (Pause. Low.) Let me in. (Pause.) We drifted in among the flags and stuck. The way they went down, sighing, before the stem! (Pause.) I lay down across her with my face in her breasts and my hand on her. We lay there without moving. But under us all moved, and moved us, gently, up and down, and from side to side (68)
but for the second time that he is listening to the same part, he is kind of feeling pity for himself and kind of regret can be seen in his eyes.
2.3 Krapp’s Last Tape and Language
Throughout the play, Krapp attempts to reshape his identity by his use of language. Krapp wants to eliminate emotional ties and intimacy from his life in the present and in the past by editing his life as he listens to his yearly reflections on tape. Through eliminating the past’s relevance, Krapp hopes to make himself content with his present status. Language plays a large part in Krapp. Krapp says to his tape recorder, “Revelled in the word spool. [with relish] Spooool! Happiest moment of the past half million” (68). Krapp is bound by and to language. It is his source of delight, the object for which he sacrificed his chance at love. His obsessive recording of and listening to himself speak exemplifies his entrenchment in the sphere of language.
Language in this play is kind of sound, so the important sound that can be heard in this play is the word “Krapp” as one can read this as the same pronunciation “crap” that means something which is useless, worthless and nonsense. When he says he wants to back to Krapp,
With all this darkness around me I feel less alone. (Pause.) In a way. (Pause.) I love to get up and move about in it, then back here to . . . (hesitates) . . . me. (pause.) Krapp. (67)
It can mean that he wants to back to his nothingness and he believes in his nonsense life. This explanation can be parallel with his desire for eating bananas in spite of his constipation; this can represent his own personality as the crap of the society. He put the crap inside himself and he is the crap of the life in his own identity and life.
The written descriptions of his tapes are another example of these empty words, such as “Memorable equinox,” the reading of which produces complete confusion for Krapp. Such an objective and clinical method of self-evaluation leaves little room for Krapp to develop a sense of identity. By reducing his life to a succession of detailed statistics and numbers, Krapp acquires a fragmented sense of self. Krapp’s fragmentation into a progression of past selves also occurs because of his constant interruptions and editing, which disengage his memories. Krapp constantly stops the tapes he is playing in order to “brood,” laugh, drink, or sing, and the play is characterized by its sheer amount of asides, commentaries, and curses (13). For example, while he is replaying the tape of his “Memorable equinox” – his spiritual realization – he becomes impatient and winds the tape forward three separate times (21). And no meaning can be got from these details but they are just words next to each other that make sentence, not meaningful one. Krapp simply allows his storyless creations to define themselves on the basis of their own substance – words, empty words
Beckett continually dynamites the very infrastructure – language – of communication. Krapp, when recording these old tapes thirty years ago, says things like “I shall never forget this.” Yet Krapp, in the present, listening to the tapes, has obviously forgotten it completely. This happens again with a single word, “viduity,” for which he pauses his listening and retrieves a dictionary in order to look it up. And, like the word “spool,” Krapp revels in the word when he recalls its meaning (the state or condition of being or remaining a widow or widower.) Most of Krapp’s last Tape consists of him sitting listening to this tape with only a few pause where he would stop to try and make sense of what the almost stranger like voice meant when he recorded the tape at thirty nine years of age. For example as Krapp of thirty-nine mentions his mother dying in the late autumn “after her long viduity”, the present Krapp does not understand what was meant by this and had to refer to the dictionary to find the meaning of the word viduity. Again this could have been just old age catching up on him. But it was as if someone one else was talking, that he did not recognize as he has changed so much over the years, that maybe only for these recordings he would never have believed he was ever that man. For Krapp, language becomes more important than the meaning it is supposed to convey. He revels in words, but not in the fundamental ideas they represent.
Becoming silence can be seen through the language because silent refutes language. Language here is auto-reflexive, there is no meaning out of it and it is only sound and silence. Two kinds of language have been mentioned. First language as a social function which is supposed to convey the meaning in order to be informative; however, literary language is performative and auto-referential. Here language is not supposed to represent any meaning but language here is sound and phonetic aspect comes foreground and semantic aspect comes background. Auto-referential function affirmed sound and phonetic aspect first and content and semantic aspect represent as a second rank. As a matter of fact in this play, Krapp tries to catch a point through talking but he can’t, language is loss and it doesn’t come to any definite meaning. Sound and silence make language in this play. So through silence and sound no meaning can be got
Box . . . three . . . spool . . . five. Spool! (pause.) Spooool! Box . . . three . . . three . . . four . . . two . . . (with surprise) nine! good God! . . . seven . . . ah! the little rascal! Box three. (Spool . . .. . . five . . .. . . five . . . five . . . ah! the little scoundrel! Spool five. Box three, spool five. Spooool! (68).
No meaning in this play can be seen when Krapp faces some words that he said before and he can’t remember the meaning of that. This shows how language is in loss and he just play with words without conveying any meaning
Hm . . . Memorable . . . what? Equinox, memorable equinox. Memorable equinox? . . . or in another part “after her long viduity, and the–a-dying, after her long viduity, and the– Krapp (reading from dictionary). State–or condition of being–or remaining–a widow–or widower. (Looks up. Puzzled.) Being–or remaining? . . . (Pause. He peers again at dictionary. Reading.) “Deep weeds of viduity” . . . Also of an animal, especially a bird . . . the vidua or weaver bird . . . Black plumage of male . . . (He looks up. With relish.) The vidua0bird! (68).
Huge pauses and recording silence can be represented the loss in meaning through language, language in defeated to have specific meaning.
Moreover, Krapp’s Last Tape is not the story of an eccentric, or of a man with a peculiar neurosis. It is the story of humankind, separated from themselves by conscious awareness, by language, by memory (whether internal or external,) fighting to justify their lives and produce meaning out of the void, all the while falling to pieces in the physical real. It displays, without judgment, the pain and comfort of regret, the joy and shame of breaking self-imposed discipline, and the heartbreaking isolation of our unknowable inner selves.
In other words, that Krapp “puts [the tape] back” implies that he has lost that world of intellectual language, or at least that it is not the linguistic discourse he means to access or can even understand at his current age. By putting the tape back in its drawer, Krapp again foreshadows the play’s later action. While the tape still belongs to him, its discourse is no longer useful to him as anything but an element of nostalgia. He has replaced the intellectual, conceptual value of the tapes with a sappy, emotional value that ultimately makes a mockery of Krapp himself, and he no longer understands the language of his youth, having to stop and look up the word “viduity” after hearing it in his own tape. Even after finding the word in the dictionary, he finds far more excitement in thinking about “the vidua-bird”, a superficial, aesthetic object existing in stark contrast to the abstract, conception of viduity. Additionally, Krapp, who did not “sing as a boy,” or, in fact, “ever sing,” sings now as an old man. His linguistic discourse has changed, but the song is not of his boyhood, as Old Miss McGlome sings “of her girlhood”, instead it concerns only the bitter twilight, “night is drawing nigh” (68). In fact, by singing at all, Krapp directly rebels against his youthful arrogance, which asserts that “no,” he would not “sing when [he was Old Miss McGlome’s] age”. Clearly Krapp no longer uses or even respects the tape language, it is not what he chooses to fill his mouth.
So far we have seen that Krapp began by taking on the tape-recording language, which communicates intellectually, but that he somehow lost his understanding and connection with that world. In addition, we’ve seen that Krapp now simply goes through the motions to sustain himself, using his new “lower” discourse not to see the world from a new outlook, but to bite down. Generally language in this play cannot transfer any meaning and they are just some words next to each other that Krapp through them wants to find his own identity. In fact, lots of pauses and hesitations can represent lack of meaning in the things that he is talking
The grain, now what I wonder do I mean by that, I mean . . . (hesitates) . . . I suppose I mean those things worth having when all the dust has–when all my dust has settled. I close my eyes and try and imagine them (69).
As a matter of fact, language is making sound; Language is silence language doesn’t convey any meaning. Besides, pronouncing spool on that way can represent that Krapp is trying to mock language through sound and that way can indicate the negation of meaning in Beckett’s language.
2.4 Krapp’s Last Tape and Body Without Organ
Nomos seems to be the place where one is free to roam about, to travel. This space is a space in which nothing belongs to everyone. The necessary process for nomadism is represented in various conditions that one of these conditions is body without organ (BWO). First we need free ourselves of organs. The order and fixity are problems upon us. The body ruled by organization represents integrity and wholeness, which indicates stable and fixed selfhood. To get rid of this, we must strip ourselves of organs, to become naked and light enough to follow lines of flight. BWO is the beginning of desire. It’s massive flowing through values and vessels. Rejecting body represents rejecting identity. BWO opens the body to new connections, territories and distributions of