Mr Essay, Research Paper
Change & Changing Perspectives.
Change is something that has been discussed as being an inevitable part of human life. It is something which humans have experienced many times and will continue to experience it many more times throughout their lives. As with anything else there are different types, or levels, of change that can occur. Perhaps the most obvious ones to categorize change by are internal and external. Internal being a change that will affect you personally as opposed to external which is change to make an impact on more than one person, some extreme cases also are encountered on a worldwide scale.
One such example of internal changes (or changes in perspective) is shown in the play ?Krapp?s Last Tape? written by Samuel Beckett. This stage play evolves a shattering drama out of a monologue of a man who, at age sixty-nine, plays back the autobiographical tape he recorded on his thirty-ninth birthday. All of Samuel Beckett?s plays are focused around the same themes (as is all absurd drama). These themes include the futility of human life and the pointlessness of bare existence. ?Krapp?s Last Tape? is no exception to these themes.
Living solely in a solitary room sits an old man at a desk. This is Krapp, and this is Krapp?s life. All thirteen words of that sentence were the existence that was, and is, Krapp. The one exception that this play does have to Beckett?s other works is that Krapp does draw conclusions, thus the play appears to move forward, and whilst moving forward, Krapp?s perspective changes. This play is set in one of the first chances Krapp has to look back an asses his life, his existence, and in doing so, realizes what it was all for. There is no reference made to an afterlife, or a greater power. All was life, life was everything, no contemplation about death was ever made because Krapp was considered to be beyond death, in the realm of absurdity.
Krapp is listening to old recordings of himself in his earlier years, his younger self is almost portrayed as a different person altogether.
?Just been listening to that stupid bastard I took myself for 30 years ago, hard to think I was ever as bad as that. Thank God that?s all done with anyway. (Pause)
Everything there, everything on this old muckball, all the light and dark and famine and feasting of?(Hesitates)?the ages! Yes!?
This self-reflection from Krapp after listening to himself as a young man shows an incredible change in perspective through time. The conclusions he draws about himself now, and about his previous self are quite opposite. In his younger state he has had many loves in his life and, would have seemingly been happy, however, as he sees it now, he is better off as he is. Sitting in his den, on his own, for eternity. His perspective has opened up on a whole new level, a level that can only be achieved by the greatest of people, an absolute level where everything seems futile.
There are few people who have lived on this Earth who have truly opened their mind to this level of consciousness and those who have are often looked at as crazy or disturbed. However these people are so sure of their own self-worthlessness that no matter where they are they are happier than ever before, because they have solved the ultimate question. They have reached the highest peak and have now got the best perspective out of everyone.
?Krapp?s Last Tape? has often been thought of as being Beckett?s way of explaining himself to the world, but the world doesn?t seem to be ready for this type of understanding, this way of thinking, this new and changing perspective.
H.G.Wells? novel ?The War of the Worlds? is perhaps one of the most widely known ?pranks? pulled of all time and is a good example of impulsive changing perspective, and how panic can affect this.
?The War of the Worlds? was written in 1898 and powered by Wells inventive imagination, told the story of how Earth was attacked by aliens from Mars. This novel was read and reread by great and common minds alike but it was not this book that turned millions of heads.
Before television was more than a mere sketch on the pages of invention radio was the media of the masses. Every morning, evening and night families all over the globe would be tuning in their wireless to the closest broadcast of sport, news and even stories. One of the more memorable stories would have to be ?The War of the Worlds?. Adapted into a radio script for an April Fools Day joke this play was performed to make the listener think that they were being attacked by beings from Mars. What was meant to be taken as a mere practical joke escalated into a full-scale pandemonium.
As quoted by an American Psychologist (on the ?Time? web site), ?Man as a singular is a very well thought out plan, however man as a plural are quite stupid?. This quote ponders how people get sent into a panic by seeing other people panic. A few percentage of people took this radio play for real, thinking aliens were attacking the Earth, and the panic from these people radiated out into the masses. Soon millions upon millions knew that aliens were attacking the Earth. This is an example of an impulsive change in perspective, having many perspectives to believe but quickly jumping into one out of fear or any other emotion.
Played back nowadays this radio play seems very fictional and it may seem ludicrous that so many people could believe this, but changing perspective on impulse caused these people to believe something which, when thought about rationally, may seem very strange and maybe even impossible. Yet this one incident that was meant to be taken as a joke brought fear to the hearts of millions of families. This change in perspective has caused a major affect in history as this radio play of ?The War of the Worlds? will remain as one of the greatest radio plays even written.
Change and changing perspective has the capability of changing people, changing places and changing lives of everyone on this Earth. Unavoidable and unpredictable, changing perspective is something which shapes us as human beings. As has been shown in the irony of ?Krapp?s Last Tape? and in the classic sociological blunder known as ?The War of the Worlds? change is an unstoppable force created by the human mind, something which we have yet to tame and master.
In the words of Krapp, ?Life is just an equinox, an endless, changing, infinite equinox, all helping us revolve around this worthless muckball?.
Krapps Last Tape, Samuel Beckett