Existentialism In Waiting For Godot

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Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot: Existentialism in the Postmodern World Humans are social creatures that need meaning in their world to unearth the will to live and endure the neverending hardships of life. Our limited existence hinders our capacity to progress, and as a result, people will spend decades of their lifetime in search for the philosophical answer to the paramount question of humanity: the meaning of life. Existentialism is the nihilistic embodiment of this endeavorment. World War II highlighted the atrocities and adversities of humans that ceased the progression of society and emanated collapsing ideals established by religious and moral institutions. With precarious civilizations amidst contrasting philosophies, people began…show more content…
The bare scenery, made up of a superficial tree on the side of a desolated road, and the empty plot incites the audience to contemplate the dialogue and introduce them to “a level of self-awareness previously unattainable” (Waiting). Vladimir and Estragon constantly occupy themselves with conversations, to the point of forging nonsensical topics, as a way to frantically avoid the silence and the uneasy thoughts of their fears. Estragon seeks reassurance of his own identity by stating to Vladimir that “[they] always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression we exist”, understanding that communication is their only contact with existence (Beckett 2.77). Language provides a gateway away from uncertainty, as nothing is certain in the realm of Vladimir and Estragon. Even as Vladimir and Estragon reluctantly attempt to leave their companionship, they fail and return embracing each other as they comment that nothing is certain, not even the rift in their paths. Both characters remain shrouded in the idea that inaction is security as Estragon comments not to “do anything. It’s safer,” and yet regret their choice as “nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful” (Beckett 1.13, 43). They seek change and improvement, but are insecure of the consequences for proceeding something out of their norm. Godot’s arrival, a presumed conglomerated plot point, is even ambiguous as neither Vladimir nor…show more content…
Humans seek any form of meaning in life and that the impossibility to find any just leads to the conclusion that, in reality, human existence is meaningless. Beckett wrote Vladimir and Estragon to represent humanity’s struggle in the face of “universal existential dilemmas” with them being constantly agonized by their existence by having to admit that this is what life has succumbed with no other alternative (Waiting). Vladimir and Estragon are miserable in their empty lives, only waiting for Godot to heroically extricate them from their existence. Despite Beckett’s denial of the Christian concept, there is a widespread belief that waiting for Godot represents the awaiting arrival of salvation through God. Yet, Godot never arrives and Vladimir and Estragon never receive their salvation, only providing evidence that the naive belief in an external entity for salvation is foolish. Furthermore, it only “reveals life to be a devastating illusion” (Waiting). All the characters “have profound knowledge of how much that life is wretched and ugly”, and yet they still push through these struggles, by retaining on any sliver of hope (Iftikhar). Beckett doesn’t glorify human life, instead focusing on the harsh reality of life. He wants to open the audience to their emotions and their “own

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