Social Issues In Waiting for Godot and Enduring Love

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The same can be said for the social aspects in Waiting for God’ and ‘Enduring Love’, albeit on a smaller scale. Social issues are prevalent in both texts, this can be attributed to the style of writing used by Samuel Becket and Ian Mclean. Both of whom use illusory devices and utilize the in-communication of protagonists. Waiting for God is a 1952 play originally called ‘En Attendant God’, the play is widely viewed as a response to WWW. Enduring Love is a 1997 novel written by Ian Mclean and focuses on psychological issues In daffy society, and how they Impact on society.

I Intend to explore the social Issues (the majority of which) that arise in the texts as a result of the protagonists inability to communicate. The characters’ state of mind is a major sub-plot intertwined in both Enduring Love and Waiting for God. The fact that all the characters are written as to possibly be mentally unhinged and anxiety ridden, this Is hinted at through Storage’s reaction to Vladimir perpetual questions, ‘Vladimir: The same lot as usual? Estrogen: The same? I don’t know’. Ian Mclean has said, ‘the task of the artist is to find a form that accommodates he mess’ , which sums up Waiting for God I think.

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Continuing the theme of WWW in Waiting for God, Vladimir, Estrogen, Bozo and Lucky are portrayed In erratic surroundings and the carnage of a society in combat with itself, as WWW was. WWW was a war fought in a world without moral guidance, with protagonists showing the lack of an internal moral compass, and exhibiting trauma, loss of memory, much like soldiers In WWW. In Waiting for God, critiques suggest that Vladimir and Estrogen are a pseudo-couple (specifically by Guy Christian Bernard). Schizophrenia affects social issues, with the bi-polarity of language used leads to a lack of meaningful communication between the two protagonists, ‘Come on, Go, return the ball, can’t you, once In a way’. This re-enforces social conflict because having conversations with himself regularly Is symptomatic of being mentally unstable or unhinged. Vladimir Is the most compassionate protagonist in Waiting for God, he spends time emotional side to Vladimir means Becket has taken a ideological step away from Estrogen, Bozo and Lucky meaning increased social friction, so an increased chance for social conflict.

This can be related to the social situation of the world at the time of the plays writing, as people has been affected by WWW two in different ways, some didn’t know what to do with their life after the war, and this concept, coupled by Bucket’s persistent use of gallows humor (the protagonists know they have no hope of evading what is to come) means the protagonists are seriously contemplating suicide. “Was I sleeping while others suffered?…..

Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today? We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries… But habit is deadener.. In Enduring Love, Jed Parry the Jesus freak’ is too easily goaded, and this leads to Seed’s mood swings and the bipolarity of his actions, brought on by his De Secularist’s Syndrome, (or as Jed would have it, Joey’s string of subliminal messages followed by his denial of any such things) this is displayed perfectly throughout the novel, giving Jed a DRP.

Jewell and Mr.. Hyde-queues split personality, this causes social conflict in the novel because his persona adopts two separate levels of morality. These schizophrenic tendencies lead to a lack of moral guidance in their world, eating them to become figuratively blindfolded by the harsh reality of their situation.

Later on in the Enduring Love, Joe Rose becomes an unreliable narrator, this post- modern turn could be attributed to the increased stress and pressure in Joey’s life, with him keeping his troubles with parry to himself, but eventually they spill out into his everyday life and he becomes obsessed with it, which in turn pushes Claries away. Mclean uses Joey’s position as a science writer to investigate ‘epistemology’, the science devoted ‘how we know things’, this is proven in the fact that Joe is hyper- ware of the power of the knowledge used in his recounting of events, ‘I’ve already marked my beginning… , ‘the moment Logan hit the ground should have been the end of this story rather than one beginning I could have chosen’ Vladimir and Estrogen are under pressure because of their ties to God, as they are unsure what to do and the possible consequences of their actions weighs heavily on their judgment, yet their human desire to travel means they are unfortunately stuck in turmoil and a stagnant social position results. “Estrogen: Well, shall we go? Vladimir: Yes let’s go (They do not move)”

Communication is a dwindling topic in both texts. In Waiting for God communication is a sore point because the play is written as a response to WWW, a breakdown in communication signifies the war that had Just occurred, and in sidetracked, this means he doesn’t hold any conversation or line of enquiry, apart from his obsession with Jed Parry. Joe had tried to open up to Claries and tell her about his situation and his views, but she finds it all too incredulous, and acts rather immature about it, sticking her head in the proverbial sand.

Claries emanates the impression of being self-centered, s much of her dialogue is based around her needs, and her inability to realist that the stalking d#lee is real and not about her, ‘You even left the drawer open so I’d know when I came in…. So spell it out for me now, Joe. What are you trying to tell me? ‘ ,but then again, credit to Ian Mclean as his allusive style of writing, he does leave the reader wondering if Jed Parry and his delusions are actually real or imagined.

Clarinet’s antics are contradictory to her literary love of the poet John Keats and romanticism, as she is dismissive, childish and doesn’t seem to care much for her and Joey’s relationship. Claries tries to follow in the footsteps of Keats, her values are of a romanticist nature, however actions follow a rather anti-romanticist path, as being a romanticist requires great deal of emotional expression, and as romanticism goes against social norms. Claries wants an idyllic life, yet she seems to be uninterested with the process of getting her dreams to become reality, her character is rather lazy in that respect.

In Waiting for God, Estrogen and Lucky epitomes the lack of communication in the novel. Estrogen is confident one moment and ready to hang himself the next, with Vladimir saving him from himself. Lucky is a silent character for the majority of the acts, but when he does speak, everything comes out as a garbled, Jumbled mess of an opinion, re-enforcing the lack of meaningful and comprehensible conversation. .. Of a personal god acquiesce with a white beard acquiesce… ” Did and Go are in a sort of social purgatory. They are without reliable memory, and without a reason for being.

Waiting for God is their only reason to live and it soon takes over their lives and becomes their sole purpose for being, but, as we don’t now whether God is real or imaginary, let alone knowing this transpires that the main protagonists reasons for being are as a result of nothing, but ‘Nothing is more real than nothingness’ (Democratic). Vladimir and Estrogen are unable to provide for themselves in their barren landscape of a setting, this leads to social conflict and stagnation as they have nothing to do except sit around, moan, contemplate suicide and Wait for God.

The protagonists materialistic needs lead to their impoverishment and therefore social conflict. When Bozo and Lucky turn up, it’s a alcove break from the monotonous life that the two (assumed) ‘beggars’ lead. So, their materialistic impoverishment is satisfied temporarily (although their mental impoverishment continues), Vladimir: We are not beggars! Estrogen: Even five Vladimir: (To Estrogen indignantly) That’s enough! Social conflict is exhibited most clearly in the relationship between the protagonists in Waiting for God, Lucky and his ‘Master’, Bozo, their relationship can be viewed as an extreme version of the relationship Vladimir and Estrogen share, and the transition between the two relationships could come about as a result of the socio-intellectual conflict between Estrogen and Vladimir, as either Vladimir impatience with Storage’s intellect could finally drive him stir crazy, or Storage’s impatience with Vladimir intellect could mean he turns nasty with Jealousy of Vladimir (that coupled with the stagnancy of their situation), although they’re relationship is a two-way partnership at the time in which the play is set. This isn’t the case in Enduring Love, in that novel there is more of a clash of ideologies between Religion, science and the arts, Hegel, a 19th century German philosopher lived that ,art, religion and philosophy are the bases for the highest spiritual development’. These three aspects of life can be representative of Enduring Love’s main protagonists.

In Waiting for God, the rope around Luck’s neck is his tie to Bozo, (although Lucky seems to have developed Stockholm Syndrome) whereas Did and Sago’s tie is not only their possible schizophrenic personalities, but their willingness to wait for God too. Luck’s enslavement leads to ‘a running sore’ or what looks like a ‘goutier’ around his neck, as a result of the rope, much like Did and Sago’s. This causes conflict because these physical injuries that the protagonists suffer are a reminder of the oppression felt by them in an anti-climactic continuum of an existence, as they persist to try to uncover a meta-physical answer for their existence, and they are appalled by it, ‘It’s a scandal! ‘ Vladimir says, “Vladimir: After having sucked all the good out of him you chuck him away like like a banana skin.

Their circumlocutory universe gives them no hope, the protagonists are helplessly caught in the vicious circle of life, ‘they must not begin to live because once you do it ends’ ( Eugene UNESCO). The idea of their universe being circumlocutory is backed up by the perception of purpose. This is influential to the social aspect of both novels, as the way the protagonists view themselves has an impact on their ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings to the other characters. This, ultimately, makes an impact on the readers impressions of said protagonists ‘Estrogen: Was it not there yesterday? Vladimir: Yes, of course it was there. Do you not remember? We nearly hanged ourselves from it. But you wouldn’t. Do you not remember? Estrogen: You dreamt it. Earth, and Waiting for God follows a Sartre Existentialism movement, developed by Jean-Paul Sartre, it typifies man as being without a purpose in a world devoid of meaning, unlike a utensil, which is made for a specific purpose or purposes. So in terms of Vladimir and Estrogen, ‘existence precedes essence’. Philosopher Martin Heidegger aphorism states that, ‘As soon as a man is born, he is old enough to die’. This perspective causes social conflict in Enduring Love because all the protagonists are coming at situations from different angles, with regards to levels and views on matters present in the novel, such as their love for each other, ‘the way you turned away from me, rejected, stunned by my refusal to recognize in that first instance our love. ‘.

Social conflict is the struggle for agency or power in society, different groups compete for resource, sometimes clashing over the same thing, this happens in Enduring Love, everyone seems to be out to pursue their own interests and is self centered. From a Marxist perspective, because as Jed comes from privileged background, he holds the seat of authority, or at least he thinks he does, trying to Royce Joe to do what he wants. So when he tries to use his power to get what he wants, he flexes his authority but encounters resistance from lower socially placed protagonists. Bozo is clearly the highest socially placed protagonist in Waiting for God, this is shown through his servant/slave Lucky and his possessive style of social interaction. “Bozo:….. [Pause. Pointing to Lucky] My Lucky! “Bozo: [Sobbing] he used to be so kind… So helpful… And entertaining… My good angel..

Social classes create social conflict in both novels because lower classed citizens end to have distaste for higher-classed citizens, and vice-versa, but not as to say WWW was a class war though, because it wasn’t. This is apparent in Waiting for God because, after Bozo’s arrival with Lucky on a leash, Vladimir shows great dislike for Bozo’s treatment of Lucky, repeating multiple times, ‘Let’s go’ in an attempt to get himself and Estrogen away from Bozo. ‘ Vladimir: To treat a man… … like that… ‘ think that … No… A human being… No… It’s a scandal! ‘ In Enduring Love, Parry is the protagonist of the highest class, and also the rotating whom the other protagonists are eventually against, this could be representative of a class war to Marxist. Parry says, ‘as soon as I came into money and the house, I gave up the Job and moved in’.

This could cause social conflict as parry could be interpreted as to be boasting of his position, and because Joey’s life centers around his scientific interests and work, there would be nothing to converse with Parry about, the two protagonists would be at social-loggerheads with each In conclusion, social conflicts have major grounds for debate as they can tangentially impact on every topic discussed, but it’s how the authors of both texts have made it a key topic of conversation is vitally important. Social conflicts have their limitations however and they don’t extend their reach through all topics as they would become inconsequential. Samuel Becket and Ian Mclean use illusory devices very well, leaving readers with different viewpoints, and leaving some completely baffled. Using class societies are seen as unjust – a major cause of conflict, coupled with mental instability lead to continuous unendurable suffering for some sadistic unknowable purpose.

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Social Issues In Waiting for Godot and Enduring Love. (2018, Feb 03). Retrieved from

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