It was just an ordinary day. Vladimir and Estragon were on their way to their traditional spot near the barren tree, as they always do, when they saw something different, something that was not there the previous day. This foreign object was a boom box. Neither Vladimir nor Estragon knew what a boom box was so they were immediately enthralled. They started to fumble with the buttons and dial. The fact that music came out of this box was just so fascinating! All of a sudden, the song “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey started to funnel out through the speakers. Vladimir and Estragon were flabbergasted!
It was as if this song was written about their lives. Now, Vladimir and Estragon are not the only ones who can relate their lives to a song. Many people find music a way of expressing one self and people tend to have some of the same problems so songs tend to overlap between people. “Don’t Stop Believing” is a popular song that many people find inspirational and moving. Although, the song might seem upbeat and joyous at first, when one actually reads the lyrics and listens to the words it becomes lucid as to why Vladimir and Estragon connect to this song; both deal with similar themes of waiting, companionship, and repetition.
Throughout the play Beckett makes the theme, waiting, appear numerous times. Even before one opens the book the word “waiting” pops right out at the reader as the first word of the title. In addition, the focal point of the play is on the two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, who are “waiting for Godot” because when Godot comes “everything will be better” (Beckett 34). They wait around all day, for days straight, just so they do not miss the arrival of Godot. Unfortunately, Vladimir and Estragon must have missed the memo because it is obvious that he is not going to show up.
Similarly Pozzo passes the time by remaining with Vladimir and Estragon for so long. At first it seemed like he was off somewhere important, but by the end it was clear that Pozzo did not want to leave by the several times he said, “Adieu” (Beckett 31). During the entire play, at any time, it can be seen that at least one character is waiting around doing anything to pass the time. Just as the characters in Godot were always waiting around, “Don’t Stop Believing” refers to “strangers waiting up and down the boulevard their shadows searching in the night” (Journey).
These strangers indicate people who do not know each other and they are searching for something, anything, to come their way. This parallels Vladimir and Estragon because they are two strangers who happened to become friends, and together they wait. They are lost souls searching for a purpose in life, so they try and create one by waiting around for Godot, the one “who holds [their] future in his hands” (Beckett 19). Another quote in the song which corresponds to the play is “don’t stop believing” (Journey).
It instills hope that all the waiting that one does will eventually pay off in the long run and that it is not a waste of time. In Vladimir and Estragon’s case all of the waiting that they do is in hope of Godot finally arriving. As well as the theme of waiting, the theme of companionship is prevalent throughout the play. Neither Vladimir nor Estragon is ever alone for a long period of time. They depend on each other for entertainment, protection, and friendship. Estragon always says “it’d be better if we parted” but really deep down he knows “he always comes crawling back [to Vladimir]” (Beckett 40).
Another example of how dependent they are on each other is when they discuss hanging themselves. The most frightening aspect about hanging themselves is that one of them lives while the other dies. Estragon tries to explain this concept to Vladimir in simple terms by saying, “Gogo light – bough not break – Gogo dead. Didi heavy – bough break – Di di alone” (Beckett 12). They decide not to continue on because as much as they can not handle being together at times, they loathe being separated even more.
The theme of companionship also relates to the song since the “small town girl” and the “city boy” both take “the midnight train” and eventually meet up (Journey). Neither wants to be alone so they “share the night” to avoid the loneliness (Journey). Just like the girl and boy, Estragon and Vladimir climbed aboard “the midnight train goin’ anywhere” and have wandered the streets with one another ever since (Journey). In addition to companionship, the theme of repetition is identifiable in both Waiting for Godot and “Don’t Stop Beleivin’. For instance, all the activities Vladimir and Estragon do in Act I is then repeated in Act II. Specifically they talk about hanging themselves, interact with Pozzo and Lucky, and wait for Godot. Although it may seem like only a couple days pass between acts, one can clearly see that it is a longer amount of time when Vladimir says to Estragon, “How they’ve changed… We know them I tell you. You forget everything” (Beckett 32). Estragon would not forget a person in only a couple days since the only person he really ever sees is Vladimir.
Likewise, in the song, where it says “streetlights, people livin’ just to find emotion hiding somewhere in the night” the aspect of repetition is brought up (Journey). These “people” are walking from intersection to intersection without purpose or direction. The “streetlights” are a monotony of red, green, yellow, red, green, yellow; repeatedly. This parallels what Vladimir and Estragon do daily. They hang around the same tree, do the same activities, and wait for the same person. In essence, the boy and girl talked about in the song parallel the lives of Vladimir and Estragon.
Both pairs have nothing to look forward to but they have each other which is enough to continue on believing that they have purposes in life. Doing the same thing every day and waiting for Godot is Vladimir and Estragon’s purpose in life. Each day they have to be at the tree waiting for Godot because without this purpose what would the point of living be for them? If they did not wait for Godot, Vladimir and Estragon would more than likely succumb to hanging themselves. For this reason they must wait. And as the song goes… “Oh, the movie never ends it goes on and on and on and on” (Journey).