Alienation in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot Essay

Alienation in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot Essay

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Alienation in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot
 

The alienation of humanity from truth, purpose, God, and each other is the theme of Samuel Beckett's play, "Waiting for Godot." The play's cyclical and sparse presentation conveys a feeling of the hopelessness that is an effect of a godless, and therefore, purposeless world. Lack of communication, the cause of man's alienation, is displayed well through absurdist diction, imagery, structure, and point of view. The intent of the play is to evoke a feeling of incompleteness and depression.

The conversation between Vladimir and Estragon, the protagonists of "Waiting for Godot," seems to be void of meaning. The play begins with "nothing to be done" and ends with an unfulfilled "Yes, let's go." Suicide was often mentioned and reasoned through in passing, as though their deaths mattered neither to them nor anyone else. Their deaths were barely even recognized by them as a change. They argued about shoes and carrots when Estragon, the representative of materialistic human nature, was concerned about it. They argued about the thief's presence in only one of the gospels and spiritual matters when Vladimir initiated conversation. A minor goal discussed by Vladimir and Estragon was to "pass the time," though they often forgot what day it was, not to mention whom they'd met, where they'd been, and why it ever mattered. Vladimir and Estragon engaged in dialogue with passing travelers Pozzo and Lucky. Lucky's speech was a faultless example of the play's meaning. The outward appearance of Lucky's words was that he was a fool who once held power over a great vocabulary, but could only toss words together in a confounding miscellany at that time. Just as a deep feeling about the absence...


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...keep waiting because Godot promised to come tomorrow. But tomorrow never came. In both Lucky's speech and the play, the characters, reader, and thesis are left unsatisfied. There is no conclusion to Lucky's speech. He simply babbled on until his listeners removed his thinking cap. The play leaves Vladimir and Estragon still waiting. Knowing no god, Beckett sees life as futile and mocks both life and death in his play.

Beckett can arouse emotions from his audience by not arranging his play in an emotional way. Absurdist theater is far from the melodramatic tragedies of stereotypical plays. "Waiting for Godot" is antisocial, devoid of superficial meaning, and empty to its core simply because of its blank, forgetful, and meaningless aspects. Yet beneath this clever camouflage is a depth of depression, sprung from a fountain of godless life and non-communication.

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