Alienation In Boesman And Lena

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Boesman and Lena
The stage play ‘Boesman and Lena’ is a play set in 1983 written by playwright Athol Fugard. Athol Fugard centres the play on three characters from the Eastern Cape, Boesman, Lena and Outa. The play depicts the aftermath of the forced removals during the Apartheid Era and the results for many in real life at the time. This play also channels many concepts, including that of absurdity. Other themes of identity, displacement and alienation can be seen in the play too. This essay will discuss how these themes are portrayed through the use of characters, staging, and setting and will also include a small comparison to the play “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett.
Samuel Beckett’s play ‘Waiting for Godot’ was performed in France
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According to McLuckie (1993;3) this resembles the relationship between Pozzo and Lucky, who are two characters in “Waiting for Godot”. McLuckie also compares how, because in the play, Lena is the one often confused as to what time of the day it is or where they are as is constantly asking Boesman whether they have been there before, it is reflective of Estragon and Vladimir in that Estragon relies on Vladimir as a system of reckoning.
Another comparison by McLuckie(1993:2) is that in the two plays and how the concept of absurdity is expressed through their actions or lack thereof. In “Waiting for Godot”, Vladimir and Estragon’s activities do not change much or lead to any progression but rather they repeat the same things and get the same outcomes. In “Boesman and Lena”, Lena is constantly referring to all the walking they do but they never really go anywhere but move in a circular motion. The expectation of a different result but there being no change in the action is what makes this absurd and emphasizes the futility of their
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In Act 2 of the play Lena asks Boesman for help and in turn he responds by asking “What? Find yourself? Who are you?” Lena responds by saying she wants to be Mary. This could be seen as a biblical reference and that Lena uses religion to give her life meaning. Similar to how Vladmir saw meaning in Godot and his hope was kept alive by the boy assuring him that Godot would indeed come. In “Boesman and Lena” is also characterised by her uncertainty of the future and this is seen when she is confused bout past travels and also in Act 1 when she says “look ahead to what?” and also this uncertainty is repeated in Act 2 when she asks “Is something going to

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