Alienation In Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot

779 words - 3 pages

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, or tardiness of God was expressed by Lucky, similar ideas were buried in the words of Vladimir and Estragon. Vladimir once tried to quote the Bible saying, "Hope deferred maketh the something sick..." He was showing the purposelessness of life without a god that might not even exist, expanding on the thought with forgetfulness that preserved the motif of non-communication. Drawing a blank when he came to the word "heart" was especially symbolic of Vladimir's loss. The only reason he and Estragon remained was to await Godot- the bearer of meaning, perhaps Meaning Incarnate (God). These smaller...

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