Act II, Section B-3: Summary and Analysis

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 487

Pozzo and Lucky enter. Pozzo is now blind. Otherwise they seem the same. The rope is shorter than before and seems to be pulling Pozzo; the other trappings are the same. As they enter, Pozzo bumps into Lucky, and they both fall.

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Vladimir recognizes Pozzo; Estragon thinks he is Godot. Although Pozzo asks for help again and again, his pleas are ignored.

Estragon and Vladimir discuss the situation. Vladimir philosophizes about this-and-that. Estragon concludes, “We are all born mad. Some remain so.”

Pozzo offers to pay for help. Vladimir finally attempts to pull him up, but fails. Estragon threatens to leave. Someone farts. Estragon tries to help Vladimir up, but he also falls. They are all down on the ground. Pozzo asks “Who are you?” Vladimir replies, “We are men.”

B-3 is a reversal of A-4. Pozzo, who dominated Vladimir and Estragon with his chatter, is now on the ground crying for help, and it is Vladimir who dominates this section with his rhetoric.

Pozzo and Lucky have changed since Act I. Pozzo is blind and, although it is not apparent until B-4, Lucky is dumb. There are no outward changes in Vladimir and Estragon. They may be sentenced to life forever. They seem not to have aged, nor are they dead. Neither one, however, immediately recognizes Pozzo and Lucky. Vladimir then notices Pozzo, and reminds Estragon of the previous events.

Vladimir’s use of terms such as “amuck” were taken right from the Dublin streets. In this section, he seems to be engaged in a conversation with himself that continues on despite numerous interruptions:

Vladimir: We were beginning to weaken. Now we are sure to see the evening out.

Pozzo: Help!

Vladimir: We are no longer alone waiting for the night, waiting for Godot, waiting for…waiting. All evening we have struggled, unassisted. Now it’s over. It’s already tomorrow.

Pozzo: Help.

Vladimir: Time flows again already. The sun will set, the moon rise, and we away…from here.

Vladimir’s lengthy speech is filled with metaphysical observations. “But at this place at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not.” It is also filled with cliches. “But that is not the question. What are we doing here, that is the question.” He temporarily ends it with, “We are waiting for Godot to come,” adding, “Or for night to fall.” Either one will do. This is why at the end of Act I, he seemed so relieved when he said, “At last.”

This section ends with all four men down on the ground. Although they retain their individuality, they seem to be wrapped in a common fate—that of disintegration. Rather than having a climax or a peak, as did traditional drama, this play demonstrates an inexorable levelling down. Here it falls to a low point, or nadir. The characters are down, and they cannot get up.

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