Molloy is the part of the
trilogy that has always been considered the central work of Samuel
Beckett's fiction, also with Malone Dies and the Unnamable. Here in this
magnificent novel, Beckett shows how his plays can be also considered
as a secondary part of his work. Some of his plays are only a short part
of his novels, which introduce the same subjects with the additional possibilities
of narrative texts.
This particular novel shows a double pilgrimage and a double return to the starting point. To grasp the main idea we will have to study the novel bearing in mind his two different parts . In the first part Molloy himself describes the long trip it has taken to him to reach his mother’s room, from where he writes. It is a very strange trip. Being always disoriented, Molloy will never really know were he is or to recognise the city he is looking for. Different factors will mark his route: first two men, that he observe from the distance. Then Lousse, in whose house stays some time before trying to go through a forest, where he attacks a men who offered him his cottage. But his strength progressively deserts him and it begins to be more and more difficult to carry on. First he feels something pull in his leg that does not does not prevent him from going on riding with his bicycle; then both, to end up crawling around the floor using his hands. As the story goes on, he will not care so much about finding her mother, which is in the beginning the principal reason of his trip. From this moment he will only talk about the things that happened to him until he falls into a ditch. Then he only knows that "somebody" got him out from there to bring him back to the place where he was in the beginning of the novel, because: "Someone helped me. I could not have arrived here alone". From now on, in the room, Molloy will spend his time recalling moments of his life, without being able to distinguish between his memories and the fantasy.
In the second part, the main character is Jacques Moran, a private detective , who is sent to find Molloy. This second pilgrimage follows the same line that the first one. He will forget the main objective soon. Not too long after leaving, he will have forgotten what he has to do with Molloy after finding him, in the case he find him, so he will leave this matter apart. Then when he comes back, obeying his superiors, he will have to write a report about this matter. With this technique, Beckett
solves the problem of verisimilitude of the story, justifying the action from the story itself. Therefore one of the reasons why characters exist is the necessity that they have of speaking. Moran, at first, seems to be a more mature character than Molloy, in the traditional sense, but he will progressively change. He will even lose the little credibility he had owing to his "normal" behaviour in front of Molloy. We can see this sense in the last sentences of the text: "It is midnight. The rain is beating on the windows. It was not midnight. It was not raining." The trip leads nowhere. Maybe it is nonsense, the nonsense of life itself.
All the characters in Beckett's novels are waiting for Godot, each one in a different way, though this character will never arrive. In a world that does not punish or reward anybody, the aspirations, the wishes or the ambitions do not have any sense. None of the characters will achieve anything. Thus, Murphy will die, as an indirect result of finding a job. Molloy will arrive to his mother's room, but, What for? Moran, who is looking for Molloy, will be in the end, more similar to his prey, Molloy himself, and therefore they will share the same universe of nonsense.