Winnie's Dramatic Story in “Happy Days" by Samuel Beckett Essay

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Samuel Beckett’s play, “Happy Days,” portrays a woman, Winnie, buried in the ground, first up to her waist, then up to her neck, determined to live out her meaningful life. Although her situation is hopeless because she has no idea how she got there, Winnie trusts that her life is meaningful and truly believes that there is nothing she can do to change it. Consequently, Winnie focuses on trivial details to pass each day. Beckett definitely succeeds in making this character’s life dramatic by consuming her life with habits and rituals. Winnie’s life is focused around certain details that help her cope with her anxiety of existence. Beckett shows that internally Winnie is afraid of what cannot be predicted or controlled and therefore…show more content…
Perhaps an evident way Beckett portrays Winnie’s dramatic story is through the variation of the phrase “this will have been a happy day” that she repeats throughout the play. Winnie proclaims this only after Willie acknowledges her existence. Each time Willie ignores her, Winnie’s conversation becomes futile and she starts to get the feeling that her hopes are false because she spends the majority of her day telling stories and yearning for her husband’s response. Her “happy days” seem to be when she experiences human interaction. Winnie understands that she talks a lot but she simply talks in hopes to generate some sort of human response. Winnie is overdramatic when Willie even utters a tiny word and proclaims that it is truly a happy day for her, once again renewing her hopes of a happy life. She seems to be a typical dramatic romantic woman who is desperate to keep her relationship with her husband alive. Winnie even admits, “I am not merely talking to myself, that is in the wilderness, a thing I could never bear to do – for any life of time” (756). She understands that speaking aloud to no audience is simply just internal thought and is fearful for that day when she will have nobody to talk to. Winnie repeats “simply gaze before me with compressed lips” (756) throughout the play portraying her fear that one day she will have to resort to staring into space in internal thought only.

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