Nohow on: Three Novels Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 13 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Nohow on: Three Novels.
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Nohow on: Three Novels Summary & Study Guide Description

Nohow on: Three Novels Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Nohow on: Three Novels by Samuel Beckett.

"Nohow On" is one of Samuel Beckett's last works, and is comprised of three 'novels,' which are closer in form to short stories: "Company," "Ill Seen Ill Said," and "Worstward Ho." These works, both individually and in tandem, explore various themes, from confinement and memory, to loneliness and existence, to death and, of course, the process of writing itself.

In "Company," a man lies on his back in a dark room, and a voice comes to him from the darkness, beginning to narrate both what is happening to him at the moment (namely, lying on his back in a dark room) as well as his thoughts and memories of his earlier life. These vary from moments with his mother, his father's experience of his son's birth, moments spent with a lover, and so forth. At the end of the story, the man begins to crawl across the room, inventing a hearer for his story, to whom the story may actually belong, and falls repeatedly as he crawls. Finally, he is, the narrative states, as he always has been: alone.

"Ill Seen Ill Said" describes an old woman's last days in a cabin, alone. The woman also remembers her past, though in a far more abstract way than the man in the first story did. Her memories are mostly images: of a black figure on snow, of tombstones, of lambs. Nature plays an all-important role in this novel, and it is the least bleak of the three, as the synthesis of the woman into her surroundings, and her bleeding into nature, evokes a kind of joy.

Finally, "Worstward Ho" has no protagonist, per se, but rather is an exploration of metafiction and the writing process, as the reader plays an active role in creating a narrative, which is never truly a narrative, but only a progression of creation, led by Beckett. Here, the writing only provides such basics as "a body," or "a place," and the reader must make the links through whatever means possible. As such, the work is an important exploration of artistic expression in a random universe.

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This section contains 354 words
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Buy the Nohow on: Three Novels Study Guide
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Nohow on: Three Novels from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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