Comparing Story Of Lucy Gault And Waiting For Godot By Samuel Beckett

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Self-imprisonment often takes the form of isolation, and therefore requires some form of action to escape from. The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor and Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett express the effects of isolating oneself through their respective main characters. William Trevor delves into the traumatized aftermath of a young girl who ran away, which caused her parents to believe she was dead. They subsequently abandoned their home and, thus, their only child who refuses to leave the farm in hopes of the return of her parents. Comparatively, Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot are paralysed in a state of waiting for an unknown being, called Godot, to come. These characters are ignorant of who Godot is and if they are waiting …show more content…
This ignorance further contributes to the absurdity and meaningless wait that they inflict upon themselves, “Let’s go. We can’t. Why not? We’re waiting for Godot…What’ll we do, what’ll we do! There’s nothing we can do,” (Beckett 76). Vladimir and Estragon are condemning themselves to wait, in other words, to simply do nothing. Vivian Mercier acknowledges this lack of meaning when he critiqued the play as being “a play in which nothing happens, twice” (Cronin). This lack of accomplishment from the absurdist play provides an existential perspective on waiting as futile, similar to life, in which people mould their own meaning through their choices and achievements. Accordingly, Vladimir and Estragon never truly escape their prison of waiting because they allow it to continue. These characters’ preference to wait goes against the existential belief of living in the moment, hence they are inflicting isolation upon themselves.
The refusal of taking opportunities to escape from isolation further contributes to one’s responsibility of their own solitude. In The Story of Lucy Gault, Lucy is dependent upon an external source for her freedom from her traumatic memories. She is unwilling to do the things she wants that make her happy because of her fantasy of her reunion with her parents. When Lucy falls in love, she does
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They are in a constant loop of the same repetitious activities that always lead them back to their original place. An ideal example of this is when the two men do not move at the end of each act after saying “Well, shall we go? Yes, let’s go.” (Beckett 59, 109). Vladimir and Estragon’s inability to leave highlights their lack of purpose in life, other than waiting for Godot. They became extremely dependent upon this idea of Godot coming that they have lost the motivation or inspiration to actually do anything else. They have no meaning other than him and cannot escape it—they cannot escape their lives. They are imprisoned by belief, whereas Lucy has the potential to escape because she knows why and who she is waiting for. Vladimir and Estragon are wholly responsible for their self-imprisonment because of their dedication to not abandon an unknown being. Waiting is not living for anyone and these characters are incapable of acknowledging. For this reason, they further contribute to their self-induced

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