What are the functions of unhappiness in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett? Why? Give evidence.If you can present qoutes or incidents of where functions of unhappiness are present that will be of...

What are the functions of unhappiness in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett? Why? Give evidence.

If you can present qoutes or incidents of where functions of unhappiness are present that will be of great help. I would like to see more than one answer.

Asked on by madamosman

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the function of unhappiness is a critical element in Beckett's work.  The idea of waiting for something, anything, to such an extent where paralysis results seems to be underscored by unhappiness.  The notion of individual action being subsumed through the process of waiting, as seen in Vladimir and Estragon, might be present in their unhappiness.  Their discussions reveal little in the way of happiness or contentment, but rather serve as exercises in divergence and dysfunction where unhappiness are present.  Both characters' waiting and assertions that they will leave or take action, while never doing either, reflect this unhappiness, a condition which both hope is alleviated through the presence of Godot.

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

All of Beckett's work and Waiting for Godot very much presents us an image contrary to our mirror fascination with false self-sustaining images of the ego. Beckett directs our laughter in an inward way and brings it in upon us. His laughter is that which makes us laugh at ourselves. At the face of a world where an overdetermination of meaning has already led to its cancellation, Beckett looks at the ridiculous, the sardonically funny side of human unhappiness in a Sadian and Aartaudian vein of cruelty and self-erasure. As the line goes in Endgame, there is nothing funnier than unhappiness. That is the essence of Beckett's tragi-comedy.

Unhappiness is the present of Didi and Gogo while there was some happiness in the past, in their memories of the river and the tower..

Unhappiness is seen as an emotional, intellectual as well as an ontolgical state in the play. It is not historically defined, rather timeless or eternal.

Unhappiness is seen as a necessary outcome of hope (that Godot will come) and desire. There is a movement to the renunciation of desire in the play.

Unhappiness is seen as a fag-end or a point of exhaustion as far as reasonableness is concerned.

Especially with Estragon and even with Vladimir, unhappiness is also related with physiological decay--the fall of the body apart from the disintegration of mind, another innate condition, as seen in the play.

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