Theme Of Waiting For Godot And Grave Of The Fireflies

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Uncertainties individuals face in texts from the Cold War era present views on the purpose and value of existence, thus evoking a significant questioning of humanity. These insecurities of life are influenced by the barren atmosphere of the post bomb period. Samuel Beckett’s 1953 absurdist play Waiting for Godot emerges from the anxieties and paranoia felt during this period and expresses the meaninglessness of life. Contrastingly, Grave of the Fireflies ,Akiyuki Nosaka’s 1967 semi-autobiographical short story responds to these uncertainties by reinforcing the ideology of surviving and the importance of life that similarly emerged from a climate of Cold War anxiety. Waiting for Godot and Grave of the Fireflies show their respective philosophical…show more content…
Beckett expresses this period of economically having nothing through the barren nature of the set and absence of time throughout the whole play. Vladimir and Estragon being tramps as well as a set with only a road and a tree shows the emptiness of the environment after World War Two, as well as the psychological state of having nothing. The play is introduced with the description of the setting “A country road. A tree. Evening.”, the truncated sentences creates a sense of hollowness as it emphasises that there is nothing which establishes the barren nature of the set and play. The destruction of over one million buildings which resulted from the battles and bombing of World War Two influenced Beckett’s dire presentation of the future of humanity in Waiting for Godot. Beckett conveys the message of poverty due to the food rationings in France after Germany seized majority of French food production, Estragon asks Vladimir for a carrot but gets a turnip instead “Give me a carrot…[Angrily] It’s a turnip.”. The irony in this quote emphasises the struggles of Vladimir and Estragon to obtain food due to the poverty they were in. Money was of great significance and so during the period of poverty in the post bomb era there was a loss of purpose in life causing a questioning of…show more content…
Nosaka portrays the economic difficulties of Seita and Setsuko in order to make his readers remember the difficulties Japan had been through, telling them to value life. Having no money makes Seita and Setsuko mature at a fast rate and emphasises the importance of life in a time of great poverty. “…she bit into (the apple) with sparkling eyes, but right away she said this is no apple…tears welled up in her eyes ‘even a potato is good, isn’t it?’ “, the juxtaposition of the emotive language of “sparkling eyes” and “tears” evokes sadness in the readers as they are forced to appreciate the small things in the poverty of the Cold War. Seita and Setsuku are left to fend for themselves and though very little time passes, their environment and economic position forces them to mature. The fireflies they see at night become their sense of hope and they enjoy their time together even though they do not have anything – food, house or money. Nosaka emphasises the importance of money when Setia cannot afford medicine and food which results in their deaths, “The afternoon…Seita… died of privation”, the change in narration to third-person portraying Seita’s death in an objective manner establishes the loss of Seita. Nosaka emphasises on the message that money was very important during the air raids and dropping of the bombs in Japan thus
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