Wise Words from Beckett

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” -Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett tells us that failing is common and that everyone fails at some point. He implies that failing is not bad per say, it just means you start again. “Fail better” means that you have failed in a different way than before, ultimately (and hopefully) getting closer to what you want to achieve. This is an important statement because a lot of people think that once you fail, that is the end of that journey but what is important is that Beckett tells us we just begin again and continue working. He says that you will fail and “fail again” but that does not make the trying any less important. The way he presents this idea, proposes that instead of being inspirational it is factual.

The most significant thing about the simple structure is that is gets the point across and labels it as fact because it does not leave room for argument. By using the simple punctuation, he makes a statement, specifically on the fact that everyone at some point has tried and failed, and that is was life consists of. If he were to change the structure of the sentence the meaning would change. Applying different punctuation to the statement would have the reader questioning their actions. Keeping all the sentences as statements implies that all have tried and failed. Adding an exclamation point would propose that the statement is trying to inspire action, while in actuality is is making a claim.

Additionally, in terms of sentence structure, similar to the punctuation, if Beckett had used DC/ IC form, then the sentence would imply additional action. An example of this could be: “Have you ever tried or ever failed? When you fail, it is no matter, because you can try again! And once you fail again, you will have failed better.” Rather than Beckett telling us what we did, or how it happened, or how to react, he only gives us the basics and we must apply it on our own, which, ultimately, broadens the meaning.

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