Theatre Of The Absurd Analysis

1641 Words 7 Pages
Abhimanyu Rajshekar (Block F)

Context: Theatre of the Absurd has its roots set in the avant-garde experiments in art in the 1920’s-1930’s. It was strongly influenced by the horrors of World War Two, where the impermanence of values and morality, validity of conventions and the meaninglessness of human life and its social conventions were questioned. These beliefs were stimulated by the constant threat of nuclear annihilation in Europe in 1945, and played an important role in its rise in Europe. The absence of religion in contemporary life during that time period also contributed to its creation, and it sought to restore the importance of myth and ritual in daily life. It wanted to startle the viewer by presenting highly unconventionalist way,
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A common theme of hypocrisy and corruption repeated itself throughout the play. Examples of that include the hypocritical attitude of the Mayor as well as the town, who stood by Ill in the end of Act 1 and out rightly rejected Claire’s offer, only to become highly consumerist by purchasing expensive luxurious goods as illustrated by the Gulleners in the Shop scene in Act 2 where they began buying expensive merchandise on credit, and the Mayor who had plans of building a new town hall. All the Gulleners also began wearing new yellow shoes, with the colour itself symbolising affluence and richness with growing happiness. Thus, the Gulleners were satisfying their own personal needs at Ill’s expense because they could not afford their new unsustainable lifestyle and were relying on the fact that the proposal would bail them out. This assumption is solidified by their behaviour at the end of Act 2 where they assured Ill that they would let him pass while they were threateningly surrounding him like a mob at a station with their hands in their pockets. Their true hypocrisy was revealed in the final act when they began justifying Claire’s actions and began abusing him in his own shop and threatened him to keep quiet and not “blabber” to the media when they came in his shop. When they finally accept Claire’s proposal and they kill him in Act 3, “not for the sake of money, but for the sake of justice”, their true hypocrisy is revealed and shows how corrupt they have become, these actions also bring out another theme of the individual vs society, and how an individual has to conform to society’s decisions collectively. Examples to support this argument include how Claire was ostracised by the town when the legal judgement went against her which forced her to leave, and the teacher being bullied into silence by the 4 men when he wanted to reveal their

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