Broadly describe the characteristics of Lucky and the boy in Samuel Beckett's play, Waiting for Godot.

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Samuel Beckett's play, Waiting For Godot, one of the characters we see several times is Lucky. He is a slave owned by Pozzo—he is treated violently by his master. Even in face of Pozzo's abuse, Lucky (a poor name for a slave it would seem) is fiercely loyal to him. At one point when Estragon tries to help Lucky, Lucky goes after him, obviously resenting the other man's attempts to help. He has one very long speech in Act One, but does not talk much.

As Pozzo speaks to Vladimir and Estragon in Act One, the stage directions highlight Pozzo's treatment of Lucky:


(with magnanimous gesture). Let's say no more about it. (He jerks the rope.) Up pig! (Pause.) Every time he drops he falls asleep. (Jerks the rope.) Up hog! (Noise of Lucky getting up and picking up his baggage. Pozzo jerks the rope.) Back! (Enter Lucky backwards.) Stop! (Lucky stops.) Turn! (Lucky turns. To Vladimir and Estragon, affably.)

By the beginning of the second act, Lucky and Pozzo have deteriorated. While Lucky's master is now blind and feeble, Lucky is mute—though he didn't talk a great deal in Act One. While he could easily overpower Pozzo and make his escape, Lucky is still dedicated to Pozzo, helping him move about in his seriously weakened condition. In fact, Lucky still helps Pozzo—gives him his whip when Pozzo asks for it, the rope he uses to lead Lucky, and still carries the bags. Though Lucky's situation has deteriorated, he is still devoted to Pozzo.

On the other hand, we the audience meets the boy (who is given no name) in Act One, we find that he is a messenger. It is he that brings news of Godot's arrival or delay. He claims to work for Godot. The boy (who does not have any other name) is fearful and shy: Pozzo's behavior toward Lucky frightens him. He tells Vladimir and Estragon that he was fearful of Pozzo's whip and roar, and "The two big men."

However, where both the boy and Lucky seem to be accountable to someone else, Lucky is a slave who is beaten but seems sadly sotic about it, while on the other hand, the boy is free to move as he wishes. And though he is afraid of being beaten (he says his brother is beaten by Godot), seemingly no violence comes to him.

Read the study guide:
Waiting for Godot

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