Sunday 30 December 2018

Representation of modern man in Samuel Beckett's “Waiting for Godot”

           This paper explores the state of modern man presented in Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Moreover, the study highlights Beckett’s depiction of man’s belief of waiting for his survivor to come for his help. Beckett juxtaposes modern human psyche with hope or pursuit of happiness in one way and in other way he shows the absurdity of human life. Beckett presents two major characters Vladimir and Estragon who go on waiting for Godot. They represent today's human psyche. If we go into the street of any city we can see everyone running, fighting or craving for the same Godot but actually they also don’t know what he/she/it is. But everyone is just behind it; waiting for it or dreaming to attain Godot. In this sense we all are Vladimir and Estragon. Therefore, here in this writing I will show how Beckett appeals to this modern time with his writing from the twentieth century’s writing.
At the turn of the 20th century, a crisis in Enlightenment humanism had began to emerge; from the ashes of a dying romantic era, a cultural revolution known as the modernist movement arose as a progressive force promising to liberate humankind from ignorance and irrationality. Weary from the weak, unchanging patterns of Victorian writing, a collection of writers sought to break away from pre-existing ‘dead-end’ methods of creating literature by exploring new styles which were expressed in their prose and poetic works. Placing a greater emphasis upon experimentation, modernist writers took a great interest in purposely disorientating their readership with fragmentation and elements of the absurd.  As the play is postmodern writing, it centers on the theme of meaningless life as Julie Armstrong suggests, "The essence, therefore, of post-modernity is that there is no essence" (98). A conscious experimentation with language to express both its powers and limitations became apparent components in a vast body of modern literature. While the previous era embodied a strong connection to nature in the belief this relationship was crucial for man’s development as an individual, modern writers displayed little interest towards the natural world. Instead, an established vein of modern thought developed that progress as an individual was dependent upon directing the eye inward.
One particular modernist who became fascinated with the idea of the individual and perception was to be the Irish playwright, Samuel Beckett. A key piece of his work which has been heralded as a defining piece of modernist literature is his abstract play, Waiting for Godot. Frequently noted for its minimalist style, Beckett’s absurdist play has invited a multiplicity of possible interpretations. While Godot does technically still reside in the ‘modern’ bracket of literature, elements of a postmodern nature can also be subtly detected within Beckett’s work; the characters of Vladimir and Estragon for example, have been noted to resemble the tragic comedic figures Laurel and Hardy, as their methods of ‘passing the time’ act as a pastiche to classic American Vaudeville routines. The play thus appears in what Robert Scholes states, Beckett's play "challenging traditional forms of theatre, they ultimately challenge traditional view of human existence, suggesting that it may be as illogical, as absurd, as the dramatic spectacles they portray" (1272).
For writers who use absurdist techniques, the world is incoherent, illogical, nonlinear, and  irrational. The laws of cause and effect don’t operate, language ceases to have any inherent meaning, numbers and places are only arbitrary, and it all winds up being so horrible you can only survive by laughing at the absurdity of trying to find meaning where there is none. (240)

Within Beckett’s play, a palette of primarily modern features can be identified as the two primary protagonists await the arrival of an absent character named ‘Godot.’ Awaiting this absent person, Vladimir and Estragon perform an array of activities to pass the time, from silly things such as playing games and swapping hats, to darker matters such as contemplating suicide. Vladimir and Estragon resemble the activities of modern man in the play. Today’s man is also waiting some unknown in his or her each and every action. From buying a latest model of mobile, car, cloth or any artifact, there is always a craving of that unknown Godot. That Godot, who never comes in any good. But we go on seeking shadow of Godot in our each and every action. Parents grow children in the hope that one day they will arrange a meeting with that Godot. So, they send them school so that they will find some way to know Godot. They go to college, get married, do job, give birth to new generation and go on hoping one day they will meet Godot and be happy. But that Godot never comes. Human grows old and finally in death bed also he/she hopes till last breath of have a small glimpse of that Godot. But no one ever got any chance to meet Godot. So, the characters of Waiting for Godot not only resemble the story of every modern human but it mocks on the existence of meaningless repetition of same waiting since time immemorial. Because of this endless repetition today human has reached to such a state that he/she even doesn’t notice the fault on doing so. It has become a ritual of life. “Everyone does so, so I do it.” That’s the answer of each individual. Beckett artistically depicts that true picture of modern man in this play. Between Waiting For Godot  and The Myth of Sisyphus,  we learn a little bit about the redundancy of our lives; "Habit is a great deadener."  Vladimir states near the end of the play.             

 Human in many ways has become puppet in the hand of system created by big multi-international companies, corporate organizations, big companies and brands. Human follows the trend which actually is just a conspiracy against him. Unknowingly he goes to the market and asks for cold drink and gets coca cola and drinks even though he probably was thinking to drink water. But water is not banded as coca cola till today. Human mind is poisoned by the slogan such as “cold means coca cola” and many other slogans which actually is poison against the free will. We are not free in this sense. We go to market and by only those things that are popular, or are advertised. We never buy the advertised cheap things. We rather buy expensive things but don’t relay in not advertised thing. In this way, we all are hypnotized to act, be and react in certain order. Because of so many stimuli in the city people develop blaze attitude and alienate the being of individual. Because the city is so impersonal and objective as Georg Simmel, German sociologist, philosopher, and critic even sees a "regression of the culture of the individual" in his era, where individuals try extra hard to be unique in whatever ways remain open and haven't been legislated or subordinated to economic efficiency.
From one angle life is made infinitely very easy in the sense that stimulations, interests, and the taking up of time and attention, present themselves from all sides and carry it in a stream which scarcely requires any individual efforts for its ongoing. But from another angle, life is composed more and more of these impersonal cultural elements
However, Vladimir and Estragon are in a complete state of unconscious and uncertainty because they do not have the knowledge about Godot. They do not know where they are going to have a meeting with Godot. They know nothing about Godot except the “white beard” (37) Godot has. Belief, knowledge and experience give justify man’s indications to his religion. Vladimir and Estragon have bad faith of coming Godot for their salvation. Vladimir and Estragon are identical to each other as if they are identical to all human kind. Lucky and Pozzo also are interconnected with each other with a rope. There is not any specific relationship between the characters of Waiting for Godot. As if they are representing other part of humans who have their own pain and sorrow and have no hope of any one to come and give salvation to them. They are in the same relationship in which all human beings are tied to each other. Beckett’s religious quest is clearly shown when both of his characters in muddle ask themselves that why are they here? They did not get answer instead of their consistent attitude towards their waiting for Godot. One more thing is noticeable in Beckett’s play that there is no escape from their life except having belief on their salvation according to their deeds. Despite Pozzo becomes blind, Lucky did not flee. Beckett does not show the way to escape humanity from their solitude, but he wants his characters to stay there in same estrangement and keep on waiting for their savior. All the characters of the play are not living in their selves but they are dependent and interconnected to each other and are not free and independent.
In conclusion, the play depicts the modern man seems to be free in nature but he does not let him free from his worldliness. This play depicts the condition of modern man and is a mock. He becomes again a slave of his desires and materialistic attitudes due to which he makes a distant between him and his divine power. The more man becomes materialist the more he gets away from his self. Chaos and despair would be found everywhere as it is depicted in Beckett’s play. In the play, the two vagabonds are in a continuous wait for Godot, the survivor to come and save them from ultimate disparity and desolation. It is their belief and commitment that let them tied with their faith of salvation. Modern man is also in the same scenario of Vladimir and Estragon. Thus, the whole play can also be applied while analyzing the beliefs and commitments of Vladimir and Estragon to the commitments and beliefs of modern man.

Works Cited
Armstrong, Julie. Experimental Fiction: An Introduction for Readers and Writers. London: Bloomsbury, 2014.
Rush, David. A Student Guide to Play Analysis. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005.
Sholes, Robert, Nancy R. Comley, Carl H. Klaus and Michael Silverman, editors. Elements of Literature. Oxford University Press, 1978.
Simmel, Georg. "The Metropolis and Mental Life". The Sociology of Georg Simmel. Ed. Kurt H. Wolff. The Free Press, 1950.
Wikipedia contributors. "Waiting for Godot." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 4 Apr. 2018. Web. 17 Apr. 2018.
Lane, Richard J. editor. Global Literary Theory : an Anthology. New York :Routledge, 2013. Print.

Saturday 29 December 2018

A must watch movie before you die : Ankhon Dekhi (2013)

           Few movies make space in your heart in a while. It is not usual that you get to see amazing and life changing movie every weekend. It takes a long course of time for creators to create such work of art. Today let me show you another life changing movie that will thrill you and will give a new perspective to see your life and around. I will say this movie is a must watch movie before you die.

          “Ankhon Dekhi” movie directed by Rajat Kapoor takes Hindi movie to another level. “Ankhon Dekhi” is a Hindi term which refers to that what you see with your eyes. The protagonist of this movie is someone among us. He resembles our own image in silver screen. This character lives regular mundane life as we all do. Believing all that what is said to us. Uncountable things around us are such and such because it is so for ages. No one questions the existence of that believe and reason behind it or the significance of it. Life silently passes by us when we are too busy making plans for tomorrow. In times when the art of survival has overtaken the art of living, some different phenomenon happens around us. That is what shown in this movie.

          Our social norms and values often direct our actions and beliefs. Day in, day out, you try hard to fit in. Who do you think would want to come across as ignorant, odd and a prude to the judgmental lot after all? Osho often tells that It’s easier to agree with the majority, hold our heads high and ego higher. In doing so, we lose out on discovering who we really are. Right from the childhood, we are trained to follow what’s been told to us. No questions asked, no risks taken. The film’s protagonist Bauji (Sanjay Mishra) faces this dilemma. As it is said in Sanskrit “Samsara” a wheel of life binds a person with the burden of duties, responsibilities and worldly desires forever. It’s the spiritual knowledge which only can liberate one from this wheel or circle of trouble.

          An incident in his daughter’s life leads him to a path of self-discovery and forces him to only believe in what he sees. But can you sustain these idealistic visions in the real world without being tagged either ‘crazy’ or ‘saintly’? Sanjay Mishra the protagonist of this movie paves a new path of enlightening him by taking decision to believe only that he sees with his naked eye. That’s where movie takes you to a new level. You start realizing and you also start asking yourself; what about me? Am I on the right path or I am also following the same bitten path walked my main stream of society.

          This movie of Rajat Kapoor is thought-provoking, he touches a chord. His satirical take on how everyone conforms to the herd mentality is relevant and praise-worthy. It inspires us to unlock the shackles of mediocrity and standard behavior – comprising of what’s right and wrong, true or false. What we liked the most about this film is its old Delhi setting. It is as authentic as it can get and contributes immensely to the film’s emotional quotient. The intricacies of a joint family have been explored beautifully. In fact, this track works better than the one revolving around Bauji’s spiritual epiphany. Sadly, the latter gets more prominence. The performances are another asset. Sanjay Mishra and Seema Bhargava (as Bauji’s wife) are flawless. They infuse life into the story. The younger actors are impressive too and thankfully, not a single character’s loud and Bollywoodised Punjabi, unlike many Delhi-oriented films. What however doesn’t work for the film is the fact that it borders on abstract at regular intervals and lacks continuity, making a few scenes and conversations seem out-of-context. Movie liberates your soul and gives you courage to walk out of the old bitten path and make your own way in life. I will strongly suggest you to watch this movie and share it with your friends too. 

My overall rating for movie will be 4 out of 5 stars.  
In-depth Analysis:
Direction: 4.5/5
Dialogues: 5/5
Screenplay: 4/5
Music: 4/5
Visual appeal: 4/5

Here is the trailer of this movie:

 Full Movie Video: 


Note : While saying so I want to confirm I am not being sponsored or supported in any mean to promote this movie. I am recommending you the movie from my own knowledge and perspective.

Friday 28 December 2018

A must watch movie before you die: "Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein" (2012)

       This week I wrote few movie reviews on my blog, as I have always been a great fan of good movies so I felt to write on those movies which are coming recently to the market at the same time behind these reviews I personally wanted to suggest some great movies which I have watched through these years. Since long time I have done this work not by writing but in some coffee chit chat but I also now want to share this more authentic way by writing about it on my blog. So today I am sharing one very special movie to you all which I believe is the must watch movie before you die.  

      “Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein” movie is a movie which will rock your mind and you will stop movie and you will surely recheck if the movie that you are playing is in good condition because some scene will repeat again and again which is not actually any fault in your movie piece but it’s the plot. So let me narrate you story in nutshell. A workaholic man wakes up to find himself stuck in a time warp, and that waking up is followed by some series of bizarre events, until he meets a mystery man who gives him life-changing lessons. Later he starts enjoying those bizarre events and learns a great lesson about his life.  

       Aditya Pradhan (Sachin Khedekar), an egoistic, career obsessed man who indulges his family with mundane materialistic pleasures, but doesn’t have a moment to spare for them gets unstuck on time. With permanently furrowed brows, weary eyes, and a perfectly dyed hair-piece, Aditya lives every day like it was Monday. Until one day he wakes up to find it’s Sunday. And it’s the dreaded Sunday the next day, and the next. What makes it worse is that no one ready to believe the oddity of his freaky situation. Harrowed and beaten by time, he desperately tries to end Sunday-everyday phenomenon, but alas, no luck. Then he encounters Benaam Kumar (Anupam Kher) - for the lack of a creative name – this man enlightens him about simpler joys of life, giving and living. The seed of the idea is impressive. 

               I must confess that the heart of the story is faintly borrowed from the Bill Murray Hollywood comedy, Groundhog Day. I have seen some critics criticize that this movie is mere copy of Groundhog Day but I don’t agree with them because the movie inspired from Groundhog Day moves much beyond. And gives us amazing insights based on our Vedic philosophy. Interesting thing is that Sachin Khedekar, the leading man of Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein isn’t your routine 6-pack hunk. He’s a common man with a paunch common enough to flaunt without a care, but that’s not the ‘weighty’ problem here. The plot goes into such a painfully repetitive loop that he’s haplessly stuck in there. He shows flashes of brilliance occasionally, though it’s not the best we’ve seen from this powerhouse performer. Director Pramod Joshi, an established Marathi filmmaker, has an inspired idea here, fresh for Bollywood too.
         I believe this kind of initiative should be made more because we are loosing connection with our self lately. I hope more movies will come on coming days not just to entertain us for few hour but to teach to live life more blissfully and meaningfully.    

My overall rating for movie will be 4 out of 5 stars.  
In-depth Analysis:
Direction: 4.5/5
Dialogues: 5/5
Screenplay: 4/5
Music: 4/5
Visual appeal: 4/5

 Here is the trailer of that movie: 

What you seek is seeking you: Rumi


Cha ke ke lukeko sajal ti nayan maa

Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence : Osho


I don't know what I think until I write it down: Joan Didion