Distortion In Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot

690 words - 3 pages

Distortion in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

Distortion presents exaggerated and absurd portraits of the human condition.  Distortion also equips an author with a plane of existence that provides an avenue for posing questions concerning the nature of thought, behavior, and existence.  Samuel Beckett distorts reality in his play Waiting For Godot; this literary effect enables him to question human life and a possible afterlife.

Surfacely, the recurrent setting is absurd: Vladimir and Estragon remain in the same non-specified place and wait for Godot, who never shows, day after day.  They partake in this activity, this waiting, during both Act I and Act II, and we are led to infer that if Samuel Beckett had composed an Act III, Vladimir and Estragon would still be waiting on the country road beside the tree.  Of course, no humans would do such things.  The characters' actions in relation to setting are unreal-distorted, absurd.  However, it is through this distortion and only through this distortion that we can guess at the importance and the details of the evasive figure of Godot.  Is he God?  Is he the owner of an estate on which our protagonists are caged?  Who knows? No one.

The setting is not the only distorted characteristic of the play.  In fact, all of the characters and all of their actions are not everyday sights.  Everyone and everything seems unreal.  The boy, the same boy, returns day after day to inform Estragon and Vladimir that Godot will not meet with them, and each day Vladimir makes the boy answer that he has seen them.  Yet, the next day, the boy claims he has never met the two before, ever.  Furthermore, Pozzo and Lucky seem distorted realities of the master/slave relationship.  Pozzo, the master, yells and scolds Lucky, and Lucky, the slave, obeys each command without complaint.  It is as if both Pozzo and Lucky need each other for ultimate survival; that if one parted, the other would fall apart.  A case in point, Lucky weeps when Pozzo mentions selling him, and Pozzo says...

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