Waiting for Godot Reflection

The world seems utterly chaotic. We therefore try to impose meaning on it through pattern and fabricated purposes to distract ourselves from our hopeless situations. “Waiting for Godot” is a play that captures this feeling and view of the world, and characterizes it with archetypes that symbolize humanity and its behavior when faces with this knowledge.

There are many important themes that this play brings out. One of them is the fact that humans try to remain oblivious of their condition. Throughout the play, Vladimir and Estragon remain stupidly cheerful, and seek distraction in pointless activities. In doing so, they act rather comical, which gives the play its humorous element. Vladimir and Estragon try to distract themselves from the endless wait by arguing over mundane topics, sleeping, chatting with Pozzo and Lucky, and even contemplating suicide. All this is an attempt to remain oblivious of the fact that they are waiting for a vague figure, partly of their own invention, that will never come. They want to realize that their lives are meaningless. This behavior symbolizes humanity’s petty distractions. Human beings in general have nothing else to do but try to distract themselves from their situation.

It is never clear whether Godot is real or not, which is why he is referred to as an example of a “nebulous force”. In both acts, Vladimir and Estragon mistake or suspect Pozzo of being Godot. They have never actually seen Godot. Their only contact with him is his messenger boy that comes at the end of each day to inform them that Godot will again not be coming, but wil surely come tomorrow. The boy never remembers one day from the next, another indication of the absence of a meaningful time sequence. At the end of the second act, Vladimir, the more philosophical of the two gets a glimpse of the truth: that they will forever be waiting for Godot, that he is merely a distraction from their useless lives, and that he can even predict when the boy comes again, everything the boy will say.

“Waiting for Godot” is all about how the world is based on chance. A world based on chance has no orderly time sequence, and thus time has no meaning. The extension, then, is that human life has no meaning. Realizing this, humans will create distractions and diversions, in the form of patterns and reliance on nebulous forces, to provide the purpose and meaning that is inherently lacking in their lives. This play is the classical, archetypical presentation of this facet of human existence.




22. June 2016 by Karan Rahul Mehta
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