Country road. Road to the village that is a dangerous and toilsome place–one on which a person might be run over by a passing motor van at any moment and whose dust and filth cling to people. In a broader sense, the country road mirrors the human condition as Beckett presents it–a place where every action is merely a hesitation before death. Parents rear children only to be struck down by disease or by the wheels of a train. Mrs. Rooney shuffles along the country road, suffering under the weight of her own body and the memory of her dead daughter, toward a meeting at the train station with her blind and embittered husband.
Boghill train station. The station is initially a source of hope. Mrs. Rooney plans to surprise her husband on his birthday by meeting him there. It becomes, however, another source of death when she discovers that a child has fallen beneath a train’s wheels and has died–a tragedy that might have been caused by Mr. Rooney. Mrs. Rooney’s trip to the station also compels her to leave home, where she would prefer to stay, waiting for death to come, as she describes it, by a “drifting gently down in the higher life, and remembering, remembering . . . all the silly unhappiness . . . as though . . . it had never happened. . . .”