Waiting For Godot
Friendships can mean a lot to someone when ending in survival, in the play Waiting for Godot; the two main characters Vladimir and Estragon connect with one another when discussing about Godot (God). This book shows fear of loneliness and it is hard for the men to connect with their friendships in the beginning and gets better throughout the book. There is a problem that keeps the characters apart which varies from physical disgust to ego to a fear of others suffering. Defining oneself allows for strong relationships to grow. Waiting for Godot demonstrates that by finding that many of our needs can be satisfied by us, our friendships can be self-giving rather than needy and not lively.
In the story of Waiting for Godot, the country road symbolizes the relationship and friendship between Vladimir and Estragon. This is a symbol of friendship between them, because the road has a connection to another road, viewing that the men have a connection.. Vladimir mentions something
Estragon: what of it?
Vladimir: its too much for one man. On the other hand whats the good of losing heart now, thats what I say (Beckett 7).
In the play, the men both realize that without each other they would have gotten nowhere.
Throughout Waiting for Godot, ones definition becomes a point of interest and conflict. One of the first exchanges of conversation between Vladmir and Estragon consists of Vladmir saying, So there you are again. to which Estragon responds, Am I? (7). This introduces the concept of definition, a theme throughout the play. Vladmirs apparently minor observation, when questioned by Estragon, makes light of the fact that Vladmir has, in effect, defined Estragon. In turn, Estragon has neither defined Vladmir nor himself: rather, he questions his own existence. Later in the play, Vladmir looks to Estragon to help in his own definition. He constantly begs his friend to confirm his existence and becomes frustrated and angry with him when he is unable to do so. By looking to one another to define themselves, both Vladmir and Estragon forfeit the ability to do so themselves, which later creates problems within their friendship.
In the first Act Vladimir and Estragon has a conversation, Vladimir: Im glad to see you back. I thought you were gone forever. Estragon: me too (Beckett 11). Whether or not this is a good thing if he thought Estragon was gone forever, they might have been emotionally isolated from each other. The friendship between them is odd but for the amount of time they spend together, their relationship builds. They are inseparable throughout the play, Estragon tells Vladimir that
Estragon: There are times when I wonder if it wouldnt be better for us to part
Vladimir: you wouldnt go far (Beckett).
It seems as though Vladmir and Estragon need to be needed by one another. Specifically, Vladmir would like to think that he is responsible for Estragon, and that Estragon is too helpless to live alone. In the beginning of Act 1, Estragon reveals that he is beaten every night (7). While Vladmir is not there to help his friend at all, he decides that without him, Estragon would be lost: ...Youd be nothing more than a little heap of bones at the present minute, no doubt about it (7). Although Vladmir offers no obvious protection to Estragon from the beatings, Vladmir expands his own importance to Estragon to justify his inability to leave. He wants to feel as if he is necessary, his weakness and inability to create change by becoming independent can be disguised as help and kindness.
While Vladmir wants to seem as if he were the more depended on of his pair, the ways in which he needs Estragon are quite obvious. In Act 3, Vladmirs need for Estragon to confirm his memories, his existence, becomes gradually urgent. However, after receiving little confirmation from Estragon, who remembers nothing of the day before, Vladmir laments, I dont know what to think anymore (58). Vladmir needs confirmation of his knowledge from his friend. When he does not receive such confirmation, he drops into self-doubt and begins to question his own reason. In life, our perceptions are altered by our friends opinions. Our convictions are often reinforced or threatened by our friends beliefs, but rarely do they have any effect.
Equally, when friends agree upon a certain memory, they begin to hold it as truth, even though such checks are illusions of their own creation. When reunited in Act 2, Vladmir tells Estragon that he is happy. When Estragon questions if he is happy, Vlad mir states, Say you are, even if its not true (39). The pair agree that they both are happy. Later that night, when Vladmir recalls the events of the evening, he remembers that he and Estragon were happy. Agreement upon an action sets it as reality; although the memory of the two being happy is possibly the most false of Vladmirs memories throughout the play, because it was confirmed by Estragon at the time, Vladmir is more confident that it happened. Often, we do not see the past as it actually was, however, if another friend agrees that something happened in a certain way, the memory is set in our minds as a past reality.
Another mode in which Vladmir and Estragon are obliged to stay together is the need for harmony. As Estragon says about other people, They all change. Only we cant (32). Ironically, by way of staying together, the pair live static, unchanging lives; however, it is because they feel as if they are the only ones who cannot change that they need one another to stay the same so that neither feels alone. If Vladimir and Estragon parted, they would change, freeing themselves from the idea that they cant. In staying together, they avoid change. This only reinforces their bond and each character needs the other even more, to feel harmony with a constant person in a changing world.
Waiting for Godot demonstrates that improvement can be made within relationships by self-assurance and meaning. The way Vladmir describes his feelings after his reunion with Estragon in Act 2 speaks volumes about the main problem in Vladmir and Estragons relationship: ...(Joyous.) There you again...(Indifferent.) There we are again...(Gloomy.) There I am again (38). The problem is not that Vladmir does not have an affection for Estragon; he is happy to see him. However, their friendship itself is not strong because of the reason implied subsequently: Vladmir is not satisfied with himself. Strong friendships are built upon the foundation of secure, self-defined people who enter into relationships out of desire, not self-serving need. Without definition of oneself happiness in ones own right, unconnected relationships lack needed care.