Monday, April 25, 2016

The Motif of Dreams in Death of a Salesman and Waiting for Godot

 

Death of a Salesman:
Death of a Salesman revolves around the idea of the American dream. The American Dream can consist of the following components: family, wealth, opportunity, prosperity, and social mobility. This is a set of national ethos that make up the American Dream. However characters from Death of a Salesman such as Willy Loman, Happy, and Biff have certain components of the American Dream yet fail to obtain the condition that they desire and need the most. Each character represents a fragmented aspect of the American Dream. Happy for an example has social mobility, wealth, and opportunity. However he lacks a family of his own. None the less in Death of a Salesman, the motif of dreams specifically the American Dream reoccurs over the entire course of the play. 

1. WILLY: That is a one million dollar idea.

    LINDA: Marvelous!

    BIFF: I’m in great shape as far as that’s concerned!

    HAPPY: And the beauty of it is, Biff, it wouldn’t be like a business. We’d be out playin’ ball       again…

    BIFF [enthused]: Yeah, that’s…

    WILLY: Million-dollar! (Act 1)

 

This excerpt from the play shows that Willy's delusion along with his two sons to start a water polo or basketball team is another component of the American Dream, which is to obtain wealth. However the idea in the play never gains traction as it shows the fragmentation of the American Dream and it's failure. it signifies the death and failure of a dream. In other words their dreams to achieve the American Dream are a distraction from reality which is akin to that of a dream while sleeping. 
 


















Waiting for Godot: 
In Waiting for Godot not only is the word dream repeated constantly it is also a motif that reoccurs. Estragon and Vladimir are the characters of focus throughout the play. Later on we tend to see a shift that goes back and forth between Vladimir tending to be more optimistic then Estragon to be more optimistic. One theme through the play is that they do nothing, they speak of their future then do nothing, and speak of their dreams then don't speak about them and then they do nothing. It frequently repeats that Estragon will fall asleep and upon waking up will attempt to speak to Vladimir about his dreams, however Vladimir will scream at Estragon not to tell him about it. 



1. ESTRAGON:
(wild gestures, incoherent words. Finally.) Why will you never let me sleep?
   VLADIMIR:
I felt lonely.
   ESTRAGON:
I was dreaming I was happy.
   VLADIMIR:
That passed the time.
   ESTRAGON:
I was dreaming that—
   VLADIMIR:
(violently). Don't tell me! (Silence.) I wonder is he really blind.
Samuel Beckett in a way was trying to define and convey that dreams are something that can progress one self towards the future and their goals, but by denying ones dreams by physically telling them to stop talking about it is a method to stop oneself from moving at all. 






Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Themes of Nothingness in Waiting for Godot and The Importance of Being Earnest


Waiting for Godot:
In Waiting for Godot we have Estragon and Vladimir who wait beside a withered willow tree for a man named Godot. However Godot never comes and instead they are destined to wait and wait forever. Their sense of time becomes warped as they cannot tell night from day. They speak of their dreams yet they do not act upon them. Ending up, they do not accomplish anything and stand still forever in warped time.

1. ESTRAGON: I see nothing.

2. ESTRAGON: I hear nothing.

3. VLADIMIR:Well? Shall we go? 

ESTRAGON: Yes, let's go. 

They do not move. 

Curtain.

 

In Waiting for Godot there is an incredibly strong theme of Nothingness and Nihilism. Estragon on even two occasions claims he can neither hear or see anything which in essence is feeling nothing. The ending solidifies and even further strengthens this theme when Vladimir and Estragon convince themselves to go somewhere and then agree to do something but end up going nowhere. The narration even states, They do not move. Curtain. They had multiple opportunities throughout the play to do something to go somewhere as apposed to standing still in time waiting for someone they don't even really know. They have no purpose and without purpose one does nothing and when one does nothing they are nothing. Nothing is the absence of something, and in Waiting for Godot; Estragon and Vladimir have a complete absence of taking any action at all. Pozzo and Lucky are able to move fowards even though if it has little meaning they still move somewhere which is a contrast to Vladimir's and Estragon's characters. This can be exemplefied by the following lines: 

1. POZZO: (suddenly furious.) Have you not done tormenting me with your accursed time! It's abominable! When! When! One day, is that not enough for you, one day he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we'll go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you? (Calmer.) They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more. (He jerks the rope.) On! 
Exeunt Pozzo and Lucky. Vladimir follows them to the edge of the stage, looks after them. The noise of falling, reinforced by mimic of Vladimir, announces that they are down again. Silence. Vladimir goes towards Estragon, contemplates him a moment, then shakes him awake.

2. POZZO: We wait till we can get up. Then we go on. On!

This can be seen as the opposite of nothingness for Pozzo and Lucky do something though they have no idea where they are headed to yet they are still going. This augments the theme of nothingness within Estragon and Vladimir since they just stand there indefinitely. It goes to show that even going somewhere with little to no intent is far superior than to stand still in time and place and achieve/do nothing at all.  
  


The Importance of Being Earnest:
In The Importance of Being Earnest, most characters are false and portrayed as shallow and vain. Algernon lies constantly and made up a fictional friend called Bunbury to absolve himself of uncomfortable social obligations and scenarios. Jack Worthing or Earnest Worthing is the main protagonist of the play and lives a double life one at his chateau and one in the city. Gwendoline Fairfax is very much in love with Earnest except for the fact that her love is at best superficial because, she only really likes him because of his name, Earnest, which isn't his real name in the first place. By default, this portrays Gwendolen to have a shallow personality. This also extends to Algernon and Earnest as they attempt to be rechristened to change their names to Earnest. They change the names that they were given just to pursue what they desire which also is an act that portrays them and their nature as shallow.

1. Gwendolen.  Yes, I am quite well aware of the fact.  And I often wish that in public, at any rate, you had been more demonstrative.  For me you have always had an irresistible fascination.  Even before I met you I was far from indifferent to you.  [Jack looks at her in amazement.]  We live, as I hope you know, Mr. Worthing, in an age of ideals.  The fact is constantly mentioned in the more expensive monthly magazines, and has reached the provincial pulpits, I am told; and my ideal has always been to love some one of the name of Ernest.  There is something in that name that inspires absolute confidence.  The moment Algernon first mentioned to me that he had a friend called Ernest, I knew I was destined to love you.

This portrays that Gwendolen's love is superficial at most. The shallowness and falseness of people create a bond between other not built on trust but on lies. it only further supports that these characters seem nihilistic since they exist for the most superficial reasons. As characters they lack so much substance as human beings and are so shallow one can see them as empty shells or vessels.












Friday, January 8, 2016

7th Blog Post: Ycrem A











 
A Mercy was a novel composed by Toni Morrison, the story revolved around a character called Florence that would have a chapter about her story ever other chapter. Other characters which are still important to the novella were between Florence's chapters.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

6th Blog Post (Word Tracker Continued Acts 3-5 [night])

Word Tracker (Night)

Act III
To-night we hold a solemn supper sir,
On this night we have a solemn dinner, sir

Give to our tables meat, sleep to our nights,
Put meat on our table, so that we can sleep on our nights

Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.
In total in both night and day there are thirty-one days
Poisoned by venom and going to sleep,
You will boil first in the charmed pot.

The night is long that never finds the day.
Tonight is so long that day will never start.

I have two nights watched with you, but can
perceive no truth in your report. When was it she last walked?
For two nights I have watched along with you, but I cannot take your report as truthful and doubt your findings. When did she last walk?

So, good night:
My mind she has mated, and amazed my sight.
I think, but dare not speak.
Welp, good night:
She has blow away my mind, and she has amazed me with this spectacle.
I think I should say something, while I dare not say a single word.

Good night, good doctor.
Have a good night, most good doctor. (Pretty straight forwards) 

Fare you well.
Do we but find the tyrant's power to-night,
Let us be beaten, if we cannot fight.
Goodbye.
If we find the tyran'ts forces tonight,
We will be annihilated, if we do not retaliate.
Peace out. 

A majority and if not all the meanings of the word, night, in Shakespeare's Macbeth seems to fit the common fear for night or that the night brings misfortune, oddities, or death. Night, is a phenomena in the play that is portrayed as ominous; this is of course outside the regular usage of night in phrases such as, good night, which are formalities more than anything. During the scene with the witches they comment, Days and nights have thirty-one, is is more or less describing the correlation between a full twenty four hours and thirty-one days of the month which are limited to a select amount of months. It is interesting that they mention both day and night almost as if it were a sort of equilibrium. 
 

 





Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blog Post 5 - Free Blog Post Macbeth


  An in depth analysis of Shakespeare's understanding of human guilt and how it is portrayed in Macbeth
Shakespeare masterfully portrays and projects the essence of human guilt within the characters of Macbeth, specifically the character Macbeth; Shakespeare invented a myriad of words that are used today in present English. Despite the fact that he invented a bunch of words pales in comparison of his feats and achievements of understanding the nature of human beings, especially their emotions. This is only supported by his productions that he composed that present his mastery in portraying the human emotions.

Guilt is an emotion that burdens every human being with the same feeling, however the process in which that feeling of guilt is felt varies greatly. For an example in one of Macbeth's monologue, he fights with himself whether he should murder Duncan or not. He convinced himself that Duncan should be sparred because he pitied the poor man, yet he wanted to kill him and take the throne out of his need for power. What help him back the entire time was his fear of the consequence of his plot being discovered and the guilt, shame, along with dishonor that decision would bring upon himself.