Existentialism In Waiting For Godot, And Zach Braff

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"What do we do?" This is a common phrase existentialists say. Samuel Beckett, author of the play Waiting for Godot, and Zach Braff, director and writer of the film Garden State, are examples of existential artists. Existential artists communicate that people need to question their relationships with outside influences. Existential artists say struggling is necessary in order to make decisions without conforming to the pressure of outside influences. Beckett uses the characters in Waiting for Godot to show the complex relationships people have others and thus, with society. Two characters, Estragon and Vladimir, wait on a country road by a tree for Godot to arrive. Meanwhile, they do things to occupy themselves until Godot arrives,…show more content…
Most of Andrew Largeman 's life, he allowed outside influences, such as his father, friends and societal standards, to rule his life. In the beginning of the film, he decides not to take his medication, which he has taken since he was eight years old, with him. His medication makes him numb to his surroundings. He showed indifference during his friend 's party when they all took ecstasy and even at his mother 's funeral. At one point, Andrew admits to Samantha, a woman he develops feelings for, "that [not feeling anything] actually made me sadder than anything, the fact that I just felt so numb" ( He hates that the drugs make him complacent. He wants to feel something, even if it is pain, because Braff argues that suffering makes people human. Through suffering, one finds meaning in one 's life. Another choice Andrew makes is talking to his dad, a psychologist, about the accident which put his mother in a wheelchair. Because of this incident, a huge metaphorical rift is placed between the two. Andrew knows that his dad never truly forgave him of this accident, and placed him on medication. Even so, he tells his father of his feelings. Andrew states that he does not need his forgiveness, he just needs accept his decision. This not only shows Andrew 's personal responsibility to speak the truth to his father, but also his repossession of his emotions. Andrew also chose to stay instead of boarding his scheduled flight. Instead of running away from his problems, he intends to stay and fix things, with Sam alongside him. His flight represents complacency. Because he chose not to leave, he escaped conforming to society 's standard of what he "should have" done after taking care of his personal business, which was to fly back and work at the Vietnamese restaurant. Braff argues outside influences take away a person 's way of thinking for
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