Act II , Section B-2: Summary and Analysis

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 503

Summary
Vladimir talks about what just occurred. He notices how the tree has changed. The tree was bare and black and now it is covered with leaves.

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He tries to remind Estragon of the encounter with Pozzo and Lucky. He succeeds in finding Estragon’s wound. Then he sees Estragon’s boots. Estragon insists they are not his.

Estragon is tired and wants to leave. Vladimir reminds him about Godot.

This time, the only food in Vladimir’s pocket is a black radish and turnips. He offers to go find carrots, but he does not move.

Vladimir puts the boots on Estragon’s feet. They are loose but fit. Estragon sits on his mound and tries to sleep while Vladimir sings. At first, the singing is too loud. When it is softer, Estragon falls asleep.

When he awakens, he wants to tell his dream, but is silenced. Then he wants to leave. They can’t because of Godot.

They find Lucky’s hat. They play at exchanging and adjusting hats. Estragon wants to leave; Vladimir wants to play.

They play at being Lucky and Pozzo—Vladimir as Lucky; Estragon as Pozzo. They part, then come together again.

They fear someone is approaching. They try hiding behind the tree. The tree can’t hide them. They are safe anyway because nobody comes.

They exchange insults, ending with Estragon’s “Crritic!” They make up, do exercises, deep breathing, and play at being the tree.

Analysis
B-2, which opens with Estragon’s “What do we do now?” parallels A-2 by presenting an assortment of activities to pass the time. Estragon eats radishes. Vladimir and Estragon walk about. Estragon sleeps while Vladimir sings him a lullaby. They exchange insults. They play Pozzo and Lucky, they do calisthenics; and they pass around the hats.

Although it is not evident in their physical appearance, the passage of time has had an effect on Estragon and Vladimir. Their word games are shorter, their actions are fewer, and their despair is greater. “We can always find something, eh Didi, to give us the impression that we exist?” Estragon says. The forgetful, and perhaps aging Vladimir, responds with - “…let us persevere in what we have resolved, before we forget.”

As suicide was suggested in A-2, as something to do “while waiting,” Estragon suggests that they abuse each other, and Vladimir suggests doing exercises. These are all language games, designed to pass the time. Whatever escape they provide is momentary; Estragon and Vladimir’s condition is permanent. The tragedy of their situation is circular: it keeps returning to the same lack of purpose. All attempts at escape are illusory. In fact, they do not take action; they merely talk about it.

The fast exchanges of hats, taken directly from the vaudeville-style routines of Laurel and Hardy, brings a brief moment of humor. This juggling ends with Estragon wearing Lucky’s hat. Perhaps he has inherited Lucky’s tongue. This may anticipate Lucky’s return in B-3, when he can no longer speak.

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Act II, Section B-1: Summary and Analysis

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Act II, Section B-3: Summary and Analysis