Obedience and Submissiveness in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

Good Essays

Obedience and Submissiveness in Waiting for Godot

Samuel Beckett's pessimistic attitude about the existence of man lead him to write one of the best contemporary plays known to the twentieth century. Even with its bland unchanging set, clown-like characters, and seemingly meaningless theme, Waiting for Godot, arouses the awareness of human tragedy through the characters' tragic flaws.

Charles Lyons feels, a character's attitude of the space in which he lives, shows a range of detail marking economic status, social classification, and psychology (Lyons 19). Beckett uses the character, Lucky, as a metaphor for Man. Using physical, mental, and social blemishes, Lucky exemplifies Becketts idea that universal man is a slave …show more content…

Thus Lucky is drawn closer to bondage-now not by choice, but by necessity. Their relationship becomes symbiotic. Just as man communally needs man to help get through rough times, Lucky needs his master to communicate for him.

The next blemish that contributes to the slavery of Lucky is his mentality. Lucky is not capable of functioning on average human mental capacities. According to Eva Metman, Lucky allows his master to organize his life for him (Metman 122). This makes life easier to bear because Lucky can escape the burden and consequence surrounded by decision making. Beckett portrays Lucky as a lunatic too dumb to speak or even think for himself. When Lucky finally does speak, on command, he stutters and repeats incoherently, according to Ramona Cormier and Janis Pallister. They also feel Lucky's disorganized sentence fragments is symbolic of the mental deterioration of man (Cormier and Pallister 9). In addition, Iser believes, the repetition emphasizes [Lucky's] unawareness of problems (Iser 253).

Lucky's ideas are distorted from lack of identity. He cannot be his own person, thus, the broken-record-like speech symbolizes his broken spirit. Man tends to waddle through life pretending that his mental being is somewhat tainted in order to divert problems and avoid circumstance. Finally, Beckett's universal man is conveyed through the social status Lucky upholds. Lucky is below animal

Get Access