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forward and honest.28Clov suddenly takes on a poetic sophistication we see at no

other point in the text.

In light of what we were finding about the rest of the text and the importance

of steering clear of direct contact with the larger meanings in the text, these

instances seemed initially to be problems. However, what became clear in working

on these truthful moments was that it was their very nature as exceptions that was

important. Not that these are points where the characters step outside of the the

play, with an attendant lighting change, or anything like that, but they needed to be

remarkable moments.

On a much more subtile and reveling level, Nell's final word "Desert!"

functions in a similar way.29The line becomes problematic because there is no

indication of what is meant by the word. It is not even clear if it is a noun or verb.

According to the stage directions, the line is directed at Clov, and although Clov

offers one interpretation to Hamm, it is clear to Clov that this is not the full

meaning of Nell's line.


What was she driveling about?


She told me to go away, into the desert.


Damn busybody! Is that all?





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