9 January 2013

My journal for WAITING FOR GODOT

  • This week, our play was “ Waiting for Godot”. I started to read it before coming to class. While I was reading it, I thought I missed somewhere  because I did not understand how they came to another topic. I was very confused. When I finished it, the end did not fit with my expectations. A week before, I finished A Doll’s House and it has an ending. In Beckett’s play, there was no conclusion. On the contrary, there was a lasting cycle which occurred while waiting for Godot. It went on each day. Moreover, I thought there was no meaningful communication at all while I was reading the play. Sometimes Vladimir and Estragon were talking about different things while trying to communicate. An example was on page 7:
  • Who?
  • What?
  • What's all this about? Abused who?
  • The Savior.
  • Why?
  • Because he wouldn't save them.
  • From hell?
  • Imbecile! From death.
  • I thought you said hell.
  • Estragon asked irrelevant questions to Vladimir. Similarly, in A Doll’s House, there is no serious communication between Torvald and Nora. However, at the end of the play, Nora and Torvald made their first serious conversation.

  •             Some of my thoughts which are above were partly pointed out in the class also. Additionally, the most attractive thing at the beginning of the play was related to background knowledge. There was no detailed information. I could only know that there was a country road and a tree. When compared to A Doll’s House, this information was just a little because we could get the idea of how the environment was in Ibsen’s play with the help of detailed description of background and the stage.

  •             The process of waiting in the play was very boring. However, when I thought the play reflected us, it gained a meaning. For example, if we leave our works to do and look at our surroundings, we can see many examples like Vladimir and Estragon. They were mostly us. They did not make any important changes in their lives. The only thing they did was just to wait for the death, hope or God. While waiting, they filled their times with some insignificant things which were talking about boots, watching the dance of Lucky or imitating Pozzo and Lucky’s roles. They even thought committing suicide by hanging themselves on the tree. To turn to our lives, we were born and we will die. While waiting the death, we filled our lives with some enjoyments. Like Vladimir and Estragon needed each other, we need somebody to talk, to enjoy or to die with together in our lives. Like Vladimir and Estragon did not move even they said “I am going” on page 6, we have some plans but if we do not make an effort, our plans stay just as words.

  •             In the play, the dreams stood out me. Estragon’s dreams were never emerged. Vladimir said on page 12: “Don’t tell me!... Let them remain private. You know I can’t bear that.”  When Estragon said : “I had dream.”. I think, Vladimir did not want to hear hopes , which would not come true, or uncertain things about their lives because Vladimir represented human’s intelligence in the play. He was more realistic than Estragon, so he found dreams nonsense.

  •             Pozzo was very attractive character. He may be a symbol of God, Hitler, employer or the government when I thought of Beckett’s life. That is, Pozzo controlled Lucky and he told people what to do or when they should think. On page 51, Pozzo wanted lucky to dance and think. If he was a symbol of God, this would be a good example. That is, God has some plans and we apply them in one way or another. If he was a symbol of employer, Lucky would be a symbol of workers. In those times, employers threatened workers as if they were slaves.

  •             I also wondered that why they always forgot what they did a day before. For example, Estragon said that they had been to same place; however he could not prove it . He was not sure what they did in the previous days. Estragon said on page 11: “(very insidious). But what Saturday? And is it Saturday? Is it not rather Sunday? (Pause.) Or Monday? (Pause.) Or Friday?”.  The answer of what I wondered was hidden in this statement that I understood they did not care the time and each day was similar to the other day. Therefore, they did not need to remember everything. They lived just this moment.

  • Pozzo’s speech on page 43 was quite funny. His speech tone and the sentences he used looked like one of Hamlet‘s soliloquy. While he was saying “What is there so extraordinary about it? Qua sky. It is pale and luminous like any sky at this hour of the day. (Pause.) In these latitudes. (Pause.) When the weather is fine. (Lyrical.)”, we can understand he was acting. Like in Hamlet, he acted as someone else although he acted as Pozzo also in the play. Although Hamlet’s soliloquies were thoughtful and tragic, Pozzo’s speech was looked like a comedy because he forgot the words.

  •              While I was thinking, I found that Lucky, who was the minor character in the play, was actually lucky despite of that he seemed ill fated. Vladimir and Estragon were waiting for Godot to come. They did not have a purpose. On the contrary, they were just waiting and they did not know even if Godot came, what they would do with him. When I looked at Lucky, he had his Godot who was Pozzo. Of course, Pozzo threatened Lucky very bad. However, Lucky was not grumbling because he had a purpose and he had works to do. Maybe this can be the message that if we do not consider the life as meaningless, we are lucky ones. In the second act, on page 126, it was written in Pozzo’s speech that “On. (Lucky, laden down, takes his place before Pozzo.) Whip! (Lucky puts everything down, looks for whip, finds it, puts it into Pozzo's hand, takes up everything again.) Rope! Lucky puts everything down, puts end of rope into Pozzo's hand, takes up everything again”. Lucky’s and Pozzo’s roles changed in this act. I cannot decide in this act if Pozzo was master of Lucky or Lucky  had some power on Pozzo.

  •             In the beginning of act II, Vladimir sang a song loudly. There was an important point in the song that it had also repetition, like what they lived for each day. In the first act, Vladimir and Estragon talked, Pozzo and Lucky appeared, they spent some time together, a messenger child came to say Godot would not come today . The second act was the repetition of the first act. The sequences of the events were mostly similar, but there were some changes in details. The song also was like the summary of main idea of the play. Vladimir said on page 69: “A dog came in the kitchen, and stole a crust of bread… A dog came in the kitchen And stole a crust of bread.”. To sum up, according to this, the next day will be the repetition of the previous day.

  •             I liked the way Beckett showed what happened in real life during the wars. For example, in the act II, Pozzo was blind and he fell down on Lucky. They needed help; however, Vladimir and Estragon dealt with another thoughts and things while Pozzo was saying “Help!”. They created different approaches about if they should help Pozzo. They did not think his pain. Like in the real life, people are shopping, going concerts, chatting etc… while other people are suffering from the wars or struggling with the wars or starvation. This was one of the scenes I like best.

  • The child in the play had a role as a messenger. He brought a message from Godot for Vladimir and Estragon. While discussing this in the class, most of us thought that the child represented an angel. The question was why Beckett chose a boy as an angel or why Beckett did not choose a good man instead of the child. I thought and said that all of us believe children have no sin and they are innocent. Therefore, he might choose the child because of this reason.

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