LiteratureWaiting for Godot

Global Issues as Discussed in Waiting for Godot

6 Mins read
  1. Auto-biographical Elements.

Beckett wrote Waiting for Godot within the late months of 1948, three years after Allied forces had liberated France from German occupation, and a few scholars recommend that his struggle experience might have served as an inspiration for the play. After German army forces had efficiently invaded and occupied Northern France within the spring of 1940, a nominally free French authorities had been established in the South at Vichy and an underground French Resistance movement arose that tried to frustrate and undermine German control of France. Beckett joined the Resistance movement in Paris in September of 1941 and helped move secret data to England about German army actions. When an infiltrator started uncovering the names of Resistance members in Beckett’s group, Beckett and his companion Suzanne, needed to flee Paris and travel into the South, where they finally discovered refuge within the small village of Roussillon, close to Avignon. In the French model of the play, this village is known as because the place the place Vladimir and Estragon picked grapes, an exercise that Beckett and Suzanne truly engaged in. This has led some scholars to suggest that Vladimir and Estragon can, at the least partly, signify Beckett and Suzanne in flight from Paris to Roussillon or the 2 of them waiting in a particularly dangerous type of exile for the struggle to end. In Roussillon, Beckett earned food and shelter by doing strenuous manual labor for native farmers, finally working for a small native Resistance group, and making an attempt to maintain his identification hidden from the Germans occupying outlying areas. After the struggle, Beckett was awarded two French medals, the Croix de Guerre and the Medaille de la Reconnaissance, for his contributions to the war effort.

Read About: Realism in Waiting for Godot

2. Post war situation of society

  • Human Suffering;

There are many forms of human sufferings. Modern persons are affected by totally different points, miseries and circumstances like: dangerous natural situations, dangerous ecological situations, dangerous political situations, dangerous economical situations, dangerous social situations, emotional situations, religious situations and leading a meaningless life.

“Waiting for Godot” begins with physical struggling of the principle characters. The struggling reveals the reflection of world war II. Both characters have their very own issues like Estragon was affected by sore feet and Vladimir was affected by urinary infection. Beckett used these two characters within the play as an emblem of misery of world as a result of world war II.

Estragon:Let’s hang ourselves immediately!

Vladimir:From a bough?

Estragon: We can always try.

Vladimir: Go ahead.

Their aimless and meaningless acts give them frustration, suffrages and miseries. To eliminate these sufferings they discover solely resolution of committing suicide. For the salvation of frustration, miseries and struggling Estragon and Vladimir discover out the best way to hang themselves however failed.

  • Ecological Conditions;

The tree, close to which Estragon and Vladimir meet, is totally bare of leaves in the beginning of the play.

Estragon: I see nothing.

Vladimir: But yesterday evening it was all black.

Estragon: Leaves?

Vladimir: In a single night.

Estragon: It must be the spring.

Vladimir: But in a single night!

Estragon: I tell you we weren’t here yesterday. Another of your nightmares.

Read About: Symbolism in Waiting For Godot

It represents the one natural component within the setting, and it’s lifeless or dormant. This tree portrays the world as barren and lifeless, emphasizing the lack of objective and meaning the character should take care of.

The obvious development of leaves on the tree in Act 2 does nothing to ease the sense of meaninglessness; it solely provides to the character’s uncertainty in regards to the place and the passage of time.

3. Class Distinction.

  • Upper vs Middle class;

The play has connection to Marxist idea. In a capitalist society the powerful exploited the weak as a way to an end, imperialism being an instance of it.

Pozzo: Let’s say no more about it. He jerks the rope. Up pig! Every time he drop he falls asleep. Yes, yes sincerely happy. (He jerks the rope) closer! (Lucky advances) stop! (Lucky stops).

 Pozzo Lucky relationship, on other hand is the relationship between capital and labor.

Pozzo: (in raptures) Mister! (Lucky bows his head). Reply! Do you want them or don’t you? (Silence of Lucky. To Estragon.) They are yours. (Estragon makes a dart at the bones and begins to gnaw them.) I don’t like it. I’ve never known him refuse a bone before. (He looks anxiously at Lucky.) Nice business it’d be if he fell sick on me.

 Between master and slave, between tradition and savagery.

Pozzo: I do. But instead of driving him away as I might have done, I mean instead of simply kicking him out of his arse, in the goodness of my heart I am bringing him to the fair, where I hope to get a good price for him. The truth is you can’t drive such creatures away. The best thing would be to kill them.

 Between the exploiter and exploited, between have and haven’t, or between blind man a dumb man, or between old testament God and new testament Christ. It is an emblem of human degeneration. If Pozzo has fed Lucky physically, Lucky has in return offered Pozzo meals for the mind in act 1 and steering for blind Pozzo in act 2.  The conflict between the bourgeoisie and the working class is obvious by means of each characters interaction: a type of “Marxism master and slave relationship is proven by means of the interdependence of Pozzo and Lucky.  

Read About: Waiting for Godot; Why they are waiting for Godot?

  • Economical Conditions;

From Marxist perspective the financial system in any society constitutes the base construction, which, by extension, forms the tremendous structure or tradition. Capitalism shaped its super-structure in modern societies within the nineteenth century and formed conflicts amongst people, nations and empire.

As the financial model decreased individual to solely a profitable unit and discarded those who didn’t contribute to the system, Beckett pressured in his work the “nothingness of man” within the new era.

“Capitalism subverts the individual’s needs and aspiration to the demands of an economic system which is controlled by and work in the interests of few”. (Bowels, 2007:55)

The center class rose as a big powerful social class, the aristocrats lost their affect as a consequence of no labor out there for work. Economic power made the higher and lower class extra distinguished inflicting class battle. The poor had been oppressed part of society who had been exploited by the wealthy tyrants.

Estragon: Mister… excuse me, Mister…

Pozzo: You are being spoken to, pig! Reply! Try him again.

Estragon: Excuse me, Mister, the bones, you won’t be waiting the bones?

Vladimir and Estragon signify hundreds of homeless individuals, who had been compelled to reside the life of tramps in poverty, a life of exile, maybe waiting for the struggle to recover from, waiting for somebody to supply assist to end their struggling.

  • Psychological Conditions;

Vladimir: Tell him to think.

Pozzo: Give him his hat.

Vladimir: His hat?

Pozzo: He can’t think without his hat.

“People who are unable to function effectively and to adapt the demands of society are considered abnormal”. In this respect, Beckett world is occupied by “abnormal” characters for whom the irregular has develop into regular.

One instance of that is Lucky’s lengthy speech. It consists of the random mixture of phrases and words. There are many repetitive phrases, which make the speech lengthy however meaningless. Neither the start nor the end conveys any concept.

Read About: Importance of Lucky’s Speech in “Waiting for Godot”

The psychological dysfunction of the characters is neurosis, which is outlined as a “manifestation of existential anxiety and pessimism beset by overestimated difficulties to adopt resigned attitude toward life”. So, neuroses are caused by cultural elements and generated by disturbances in human relationships.

Beckett suggest that the postwar people must stay on this neurotic and absurd existence. War is the most important reason whose results have brought on damages in individual’s psychology since horror and trauma of struggle lingered long after the guns stopped firing, compelled individuals to undergo in isolation and silence.


In conclusion, it justified that a number of global points are talked within the play “Waiting for Godot”. From personal experience to postwar society, ecological destruction to financial decline and psychotic breakdown are main points which can purely a part of play’s discourse.

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