Vince's Reviews > Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
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's review
May 01, 2012

really liked it

At first I didn't "get it". I'm new to the genre. After discussing with friends and thinking about it, I started to really appreciate it, especially in the context of absurdist fiction, and I found myself relating back to it very often in my own experiences.

The story is weird. Be ready for that. Also, I did not know this, but "absurdist" fiction does not refer specifically to the silly and nonsensical nature of this book (although that is common in absurdist fiction), but the philosophical concept of the absurd. So this book is absurd both in the traditional sense, and in the sense that it addresses humans' desire to find meaning in a seemingly meaningless universe. In other words, reading these changed (for the better) my appreciation of this play:

I'm not sure if this is common knowledge among readers of this play or not, so excuse me if I'm pointing out the obvious here, but it wasn't obvious to me.

Furthermore, I don't think Sam intended to make any specific point with this play. Again, I'm basing this on what I've learned from Wikipedia (don't judge!), but when asked to comment on the play he seems to avoid assigning a specific interpretation to anything in it (he is quoted as saying "Why people have to complicate a thing so simple I can't make out."). I think that what many of the absurd (in both senses) situations accomplish is displaying a very human response to some of the anxieties and complications that we all face. For this reason you can apply many aspects of the play to many aspects of life (Godot = Jesus, for example), but I wouldn't say that Godot is meant to symbolize Jesus. I would, however, say that Jesus represents, in our society, one manifestation of some of the emotions that Vladimir and Estragon have for Godot. In other words, I think the value in the play for me is not assigning meaning to Godot or to any of the other aspects of the play, but rather appreciating the very human nature of the interactions in the play. After I came to this conclusion I find myself in situations where I see people (or myself) act like one of the characters, and I relate back to the play, and these experiences are what make the play enjoyable for me.

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