Philosophy of existentialism and the expectation of humanity

Sartre and Heidegger proposed the idea that human beings were not part of the plan of the universe and therefore their existence is meaningless and their suffering is also because of this mismatch.

Now they are free to find purpose in their life in this meaningless world and so humans are what they do. But this human suffering doubles when human beings are unable to exercise their will and must go with the flow. This brings us to the next stage, namely nihilism, which means that human beings do nothing in this world of nothingness. The play Waiting for Godot is a play based on the philosophy of existentialism which means that the human being has to do something to find the purpose of his life, that even after doing his best, he is unable to do so. find and exclaims thus: “Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it’s awful”.

The play begins with the introduction of two characters, Estragon and Vladimir, who are waiting for Godot to come and solve their problem. They have nothing else to do while they wait. These two characters prove that they are together in their misery and become each other’s complements while waiting for Godot. They first attempt to remove Tarragon’s boots, then Vladimir takes off and puts his hat back on. They spend their day doing nothing but waiting.

While they wait, they think of a suicide attempt by hanging themselves with the dry and weak tree on the stage but very quickly realize that they don’t have a strong rope to hang down and that the tree would break with it. their load. So, they give up the idea of ​​hanging themselves and decide to wait for Godot until a boy comes and tells them that Godot is not coming their way that day and that he would come the next day.

Before the boy’s arrival and disappearance, two other characters, Lucky and Pozzo are injected on stage. Lucky is tied with a rope controlled by Pozzo. It is only Pozzo speaking while Lucky remains silent, despite carrying a load of bags. Lucky acts as Pozzo’s slave and Pozzo also demonstrates his authority over him. He even jerks him off and makes him talk, think and move. They also disappear after the information brought by the boy on the non-arrival of Godot. Pozzo appears to be in control and Lucky silently obeys his letter and spirit. Although Pozzo does nothing but order Lucky and offer Tarragon bones and veg. Fortunately humanity suffers not only because of the adverse pattern of nature, but also because of the oppression and cruelty of capitalism or other human controlling forces.

The second act of the drama also begins with the same scene and the same characters with only two changes. First, that there are some leaves growing on the tree. Tarragon and Vladimir spend some time figuring out how it happened. Second, the role reversal takes place when we see Lucky controlling Pozzo now and doing the same thing Pozzo did to him. Estragon and Vladimir spend their time waiting for Godot abusing each other, playing with each other, and trying to think about their lives. They continue to search for Godot but find that he has not yet appeared. Ultimately, they receive information that Godot is not coming today. And so, nothing comes out of nothing.

The description above shows that not only do the characters have a choice not to do, but they also find themselves doing nothing. So the play is an amalgamation of existentialism and nihilism because the play starts with nothing, the characters do nothing and nothing is done as a whole but the same characters also seem to be waiting. The characters try to find a purpose in their life. They are also waiting for Godot to come and solve their problems. So while doing nothing, the characters in the play are doing something, which means nothingness is stuck to something and neither of these two are able to handle the situation on their own.

The theme of essentialism, however, dominates the play because the characters are in a constant attempt to find purpose in their lives. They are waiting for a divine person to come and solve their problems. This expectation is in direct accord with Christian essentialism that everyone has no beginning or end and everyone is looking for a purpose in life. The play demonstrates the expectation more vigorously than the answers to humanity’s questions because all human beings live in an absurd world which makes the play an absurd play. The characters of Tarragon and Vladimir are not just two human beings, they are the suffering and bewildered humanity. In such a situation, humanity tries to find a solution in the arrival of Godot, who never comes. When all of the above are combined it gives the impression that the play is based on essentialism and that very idea makes it an absurd game.

The author is Professor of English at Government Emerson University, Multan. He can be contacted at [email protected] and Tweets at @Profzee


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