My Thoughts on ‘Ping’ by Samuel Beckett

1st September 2020

(from my perspective) In Ping, the short story could be portraying an individual that has lost their memory. Samuel Beckett uses basic language, and incorrect sentence structure to explain the individual’s perception of the world, and their attempts to make sense of the changes and connect them to what they already know. Their basic understanding of language, commonly using the words ‘white’ and words correlating with the body, such as head, legs, eyes, lashes, heels, palm, convey a sense of perception, The individual is looking at something, someone, and taking in the basics. The first line of the short story portrays much, “All known all white bare white body fixed one yard joined like sewn.” This attempt to describe what they know, referenced from ‘all known.’ they could be describing an object that stayed in one place, ‘fixed,’ they are trying to describe what they see.


When we were reading this short story, a piece AI, for example, a robot, came to mind. Then someone who has lost their memory, then someone who has never left a certain room their entire life. There are so many different ways to perceive this text and what Samuel Beckett was originally describing. I find this particularly interesting about this text, and that the understanding that different individuals perceive texts differently can and should be applied to make different aspects of Literature and the world. The paragraph above was an attempt to analyse the short story, however by the time I wrote the paragraph, I had overthought the text and changed my idea about the text.


Further ideas:

  • the descriptions of white: hospital walls
  • pings: heart monitors, other monitors
  • blue: nurse uniforms
  • descriptions of the body: coming to terms with injuries.
  • murmurs: doctors talking in the distance
  • “silence ping over”: death
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