Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Waiting for Meaning

As a classic story lover, I depend on all that plot mumbo gumbo. So it's plain to see Waiting for Godot was a challenge for me to wrap my head around, and even accept the play itself. After several discussions with some friends, (most of them ended in extreme denial) I finally have come to understand the meaning of this play; there is no definite meaning. Beckett strategically made his play so vague that really any interpretation could technically work, even if it isn't the right one. This play both starts and ends with two supposedly homeless men standing by a tree and waiting for a man named named Godot who (spoiler alert!) never actually came. Their seemingly meaningless banter ranges from boots and trees, to the purpose of human life; which they came to never find. It was frustrating to me to know that they were so close to what they had anticipated yet they never got it. It was humbling to know that not every story is going to turn out the way I want it to be, and sometimes the author is just trying to make me think. Godot never came, yet both of the men were able to find meaning in their lives to keep living. Whether this was Godot continually hanging a carrot in their face to keep them waiting, or just the fact they they liked their boring repetitive life (though I would go crazy), they still continued to live. This brings up the existentialist idea, that in a world where there is no meaning, how can one find a reason not to kill themselves? They mentioned suicide several times, not because they were depressed or upset, but because they were bored and had nothing else to do. They couldn't find any other reason to live, yet they continued living. Like the myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus lived the same repetitive life everyday which was full over pushing a rock up a hill only to have it fall back down. How does one find meaning in that situation? He could have easily let the rock crush him into nothing and never had to deal with the seemingly meaningless life that he had ahead of him. Yet, he continued to push that rock up the hill, and let it roll back down again. In Waiting for Godot, Didi and Gogo still wait for Godot to come, yet he never does. They could easily leave, or kill themselves but they don't. Why they don't will forever be a mystery to me.