IsWaiting for Godot still Relevant in our Contemporary 2016 society?
Becket’s‘Waiting for Godot’, though written several decades ago sharesmost of the features exhibited by the contemporary society henceremaining more relevant like many contemporary writings. Theimprisonment in an ahistorical outlook, the nullification of thelinear historical period, the disposition towards the observation ofuncertainty or the impression of fifty by fifty chances all make itrelevant in the modern society. In addition, the evincing of variouselements of binary antagonism and most significant the display ofcomplete absurdism makes the play acquire great significance in thecontemporary society. However, I keep in mind or acknowledge the factthat driving a transcendent interpretation from the play is quitedifficult. Becket wanted to maintain the sense of elusive presenthence initiating the debate on the practicality of the play to thecurrent generations.
Becketportrays humanity at the most spiritual and animal level much finelyor precisely like the piece of music or a beautiful poem. The playdoes not lecture, is not polemic and not coarse but presents itslessons imperceptibly making it more biblical. It reveals the truthin an intelligent and gentle manner, characterized by the sense ofhigh reasoning preferred by the current society. Another key featurein Becket writing is nihilism, a radical viewpoint of insignificance.In this context, it reveals that the most communities in the worldcontinue to exist without purpose, meaning, value or truth.Currently, this features through the observed trans-political orderin the society identified by the absence of reality and meaning inthe social life. The idea is that politics disappears with thepoliticization of everything, social disappears with thesocialization of everything, and economy disappears with theeconomization of everything, which describes the trends in thecontemporary society as we move towards democratization andliberalization of all systems and functions. However, the dialogue,‘Why don’t we hang ourselves?’ displays monotony in the livesof the characters and yet disconnects the link between nihilism and‘waiting for Godot’ that lies within the contemporary society(Becket 41).
Furthermore,the issue of binary opposition in Becket shades light and meaningfrom the observed values and norms that continue to lash the societyturning a deaf ear and blind eye to their desires or expectations.The philosophies such as smart and dull, white and black or ugly andbeautiful are the undesirable gifts of the contemporary society. Thisis evident through the rivalry between Estragon and Vladimir in theirway of thinking, acting, appearing, feeling as well as theirdifferent levels of intelligence (Becket 5-6).
Theissue of uncertainty features well in Becket’s writing and drivesus to the human system of capitalism that continues to tremble thefoundations. The society has now moved from certainty to angst anddoubt. The acquisition of material things is currently a dead end andconsumerism is on the retreat. The society is in a moment ofstripping down as well as introspection to essentials in which Becketdid not illuminate beyond ‘the tears and laughter’. Thecharacters in the play are not willing to make any movements becauseof their uncertainties, which describes the irony and dilemmas thatthe contemporary societies suffer regarding the effectiveness oftheir political, social, and economic systems (Becket 8). As inGodot, the society lacks certainty on when it will obtain a solutionto the mysteries it faces. In addition, waiting for Godot appears tohave a special resonance in periods of political, social, andeconomic crisis since current existential contemplation can firstlook bleak. It is poetic and funny but exposes the humanity talentsfor indifference, companionship as well as ongoing.
Inthe contemporary society, the purpose of human existence remains anunfathomable question. It appears impossible to get an answer sincewe do not know the starting point and the one to ask. The existenceappears a phenomenon imposed to humans by a force that is difficultto know. Despite our continued suffering about it, no significantmeaning in it. The world still appears to be in chaotic. Therefore,the society imposes meaning using patterns as well as fabricatedobjectives to amuse ourselves because of the idea that the conditionis hopelessly immeasurable (Becket 2-4). Therefore, ‘Waiting forGodot’ describes the feeling that affects the society and explainsthe manner the society behaves when faced with similar issues intheir world. As it is in the current world, the play describes humanexistence as completely dependent on chance and therefore, time ismeaningless, meaning that existence is also insignificant. Therealization of this goal influences the society to opt for externalforces that may be real or not real. Perhaps, this explains thepresence of different view and philosophies concerning the issue andother similar matters that continue to disturb our minds byinfluencing numerous imaginations every day. Therefore, ‘Waitingfor Godot’ describes the scenario precisely that continues torevolve in the society hence, the play is still relevant to thecontemporary society.
Beckett,Samuel. "Waiting for Godot." (1956): 1956-1956.London: Faber.