Commonplace; Oh, But Failure

The essence of Samuel Beckett’s quote is captured in the simplicity of it. There is no need to decorate the sentences with extensive explanation, unnecessary adjectives, or whatnot. As humans, we like to overcomplicate ourselves. We think that everything has a downside, and we should look for it. I think Beckett seeks to reject this pessimistic point of view that has developed within us with this quote. Simply put, Beckett believes, you try, you fail, you try again.


Let’s think about what the quote would be like if the writer had changed its composition around. Using periods for each change of action makes the action final and concrete. One cannot change the fact that one fails, but one also cannot change the fact that one gets up and does better. That is the way of life. What Beckett seeks to express with this quote cannot be transformed with another sentence structure. If the quote had been in an independent and dependent clause form, for example, the nature of the individuality of each action would be entirely lost. As I mentioned before, each happens in a sequential pattern, and each stands for itself. I say this because every step of the process of trying and succeeding in the end is important, for from each you learn and grow. The same goes for if Beckett had put the first two sentences between question marks and the last four in between exclamation points. In terms of the question mark, I feel like it would take away the existential truth that is trying and failing. You do not have to ask whether or not you have tried and failed because we have all tried and failed. For exclamation marks, it would take away the soothing quality behind the statements. In my opinion, Beckett’s lines transmit better with periods because I hear a calming voice telling me, “It is all alright.” The impact the quote holds is better interpreted in between the punctuation marks it was originally written with. The use of question marks and exclamation would be excessive. I believe Beckett would agree with me.  


The man says that failing is absolutely not a big deal, and we should not let it be. Failure is such a crucial part of life, and I appreciate Beckett using his pen and paper to say this in such an inspiring manner. Trying and failing is necessary, since, through these, you grow. And every time you fail, you should know you fail better. Failing better means you are one step closer to success. I think we take this one step for granted, not realizing the magnitude it weighs. Trial and error is the one thing an individual gets to master before she achieves success.This quote is an excellent representation of why Beckett is considered one of the writing greats, for it underlines what we should consider important in a take-it-or-leave-it way. There is simplicity in greatness.

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