But on second thoughts, there ismore to this extract than meets the eye and the reader is justified in thinking that a sort of symbolic dimension is attributed to Murphy. Oddly enough, this latter proves to exceed the mere role of a character. As a result, we could enquire how this contradiction appears throughout the text.
By focusing on the ambiguous reject of all narrative aspect, we could enquire how Murphy is depicted and towhat extent he contributes to strengthen a dramatic tension. In the last part, we shall examine the relentless swinging between issues resulting form language and the use of irony, which contributes to raising such discomfort.
As a starting point, it is worth noticing the ambiguity that pervades the openings sentences. If pretence of reality can be picked out, this impression is largelycounterbalanced by a loose treatment of Time. That leads finally to understand the non-commitment of Murphy opposed to the world. All things considered, this text deals with an anti-fictional plot and an anti-hero.
Beckett emphasizes that the background is realistic by specifying place names so meticulously as to make it possible for us to locate the character on street-map of London. Some of thedetails in this passage are acceptably realistic, for instance West Brompton, near South Kensington.
The treatment of the time turns out to call off the endeavour to create a fictional setting as a real and physical world, in which the reader could highly believes. The specific treatment of Time is underlined in the following statement ‘The sun shone’ that gives us a means to imagine thetemporality in which Murphy ‘’sat out of it’’. The first sentence deeply suggests an everlasting action, which drags on until wearing away. The simple past is indeed pretty ambiguous, reinforcing the impression of an obsolete narration. The reader can easily notice a sort of link between the repetitive habit of the sun and the eternal circle of day-life. Beckett lays emphasis on such continuous cycle byseveral hints of Murphy’s activities, which date back to six months. Beckett resorts thus to a sort of predestination, which highlight how such groundless character as Murphy is however chained by the fetters of time. The character seems indeed caught up in some larger system of celestial control, and this deterministic note would be signalled in the first lines.
With hindsight, we do not notice anyforthcoming event, except the ‘other arrangements he would have to make’. These ones appear however useless, because the recurrent ‘’soon’’ is clearly similar to Murphy’s current situation: the same activities are detailed, in the same order, between l. 3 and l.8.
Consequently, the situation of Murphy is brought into relief, which one consists merely in drab rituals, vacuous repetitions ofa largely inert life passed in a confined urban space: there is no denying that the place given to such habits is dominating over changes.
On the one hand, using several repetitions appears as a sort of failure that casts doubt on the narration, deriding it deliberately (the verb ‘’to sit’’ occurs twice while the cages are similarly described). His ‘’mew’’ (a bird-coop, originally one designedfor moulting falcons) is condemned - presumed as unfit for human habitation- and Murphy must contemplate the illusory upheaval of removal: ‘’soon he would have to buckle to and start’’. Ostensibly, Murphy is constructed around windy habits that may be symbolized by the importance of this cage. More profoundly, it seeks to represent a man’s energetic inner life, which finds its own repetitive...