Uncertainty In Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot

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Uncertainty is a situation that arouses doubt, apprehension and dilemma thus prompting people to take a reserved stand. The Second World War had an economical, social, physical and psychological impact on people`s lives forcing them to be imprisoned in a sort of bubble, where life was more traumatic than death. Samuel Beckett`s Waiting for Godot is an archetypal post-war play dealing with the uncertainties, which manifested itself through the theme of existentialism and absurdity, the plot, characters, language and actions. This essay will therefore elaborate on the above, whilst also focusing on the nuanced definition of modernism and post-modernism.
It is not clear whether Beckett can be considered as a modernist or a post-modernist because
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The war reduced human life to something insignificant, and this left the remainder of the population disenchanted and submerged in an existentialist crisis where they continuously ask themselves if they exist, and if they do, why is it the case. It is probably to know the answer to this question that Vladimir and Estragon wait for Godot and the fact that Godot is evasive and does not appear shows that this question will remain unanswered. They exist in a time frame where they eat, drink, sleep and wait and this is done in an attempt to appear “humane.” The characters, representing the whole of humanity, comes around as dehumanized, reduced to the level of animals, as Estragon is eager to have Pozzo`s leftover bones, showing a regression to the primitive, a more atavistic state of man, where basic needs are more fundamental. Left hanging in the void, their life is empty (O.Via, Jr, 1962) and this is clear through Estragon`s comment “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it`s awful,” but what is interesting is that they try to escape the nothingness and boredom by doing insignificant things like waiting for Godot endlessly. These strange characters are unaware of their purpose in life, in fact, they are even unaware of their identity and mood, which frustrates the audience since they are placed at an uncomfortable seat and are forced to ponder …show more content…
The uncertainty about Religion becomes more potent through the ghostly presence of Godot, an absent and indescribable, yet, ever-dominating entity in the play. Beckett gives no clear indication upon the identity of Godot, leaving it to interpretation; nevertheless, it is clear that Godot is paralleled with God due to the increasing similarity in the way they are written. Whether Godot is meant to replace God, who has disappeared, in this increasingly disenchanted world or that he is merely a way for the playwright to question religion is a debatable issue. This parallelism becomes more overwhelming when Godot does not appear at the end, this situation can be juxtaposed to that in the warfront where people kept on hoping that God would intervene in the war and they would be saved. The fact that neither God nor Godot appears gave rise to a sense of nihilism. According to McCoy (cited in O.Via, Jr, 1962) Godot appears in every character of the play such that Godot could represent the intellect in Vladimir or the ignorance in Estragon, the submissiveness in Lucky or the dominating attributes of Pozzo or he might represent hope and a healing power in the form the boy. Many critics consider Pozzo as the personification of Godot; however, if such a hypocrite and confusing character represents an overarching form of power; then Vladimir and Estragon are true to question their existence, since

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