Winnie, a middle-aged woman, is inexplicably buried in a mound in the play Happy Days. In Act 1 we see her buried up to her waist. She whiles away her time cataloging the contents of her bag and peering at the words printed on her toothbrush. A startling development takes place in the second act when we see Winnie buried up to her neck and all she has is her words. Her partner, Willie, is buried in a hole behind her and speaks only a few words during the play.
In an uninterrupted monologue, Winnie reflects on language and its meaning, the pleasures of repetition, the reassurance of habit, and the desire to be heard. She recalls half-forgotten quotations, traumatic events from childhood, early sexual encounters, and all the while laments on "how words fail."
Happy Days is symbolic of failed reciprocation. It compels us to re-examine the validity of our responses to life's situations.