This introductory chapter discusses the reading of Samuel Beckett's work that centres primarily on love and the need for contact with a primary, loving other. It looks at Beckett's use of the centrality of emotional contact in his work and emphasizes the psychoanalytic features of the present study. This chapter also identifies several other features of the study and notes that it focuses on the earliest relations of the infant and mother.
This chapter takes a look at the early scenes that reflect failed psychic birth, such as the actual birth of Larry Nixon and Watt's arrival into the fiction. The chapter first presents a detailed reading of Arsene's speech to Watt; this speech suggests initial anxiety situations. It then discusses Watt's stay in the house. This section also considers the absence of emotional connection between the two characters, and Watt's reaction to the failed attempt at forming a primary attachment. The chapter concludes with a section on the different symbols that suggest early maternal failure, disruptions in nurturing, and Watt's need for control by alternative maternal figures.
This chapter is concerned with the relationships formed between the tramps, between Lucky and Pozzo, and between the two couples. It explores some themes of starvation and failure in the nursing bond and considers the dominant relationship between an absent, alluring, and withholding Godot-as-mother and an unwell infantile self. This chapter considers the anxieties that are created by the absence of maternal recognition and the important aspects of early object relations that are organized around an experience of absent love.
This chapter emphasizes that the study presented in the book is all about love. It provides a transcript of a dream the author had after he finished book, where he notes the similarities between his and Beckett's relationships with their parents. This chapter also determines Beckett's primal message to the readers, and reviews the concept of associative experience.