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Biplob Prodhan
  • 4 weeks ago
  • 20
In what ways do Lucky and Pozzo contribute to the thematic structure of the play Waiting for Godot? [DU. 1995, NU. 2000, 2007]

Waiting for Godot. Show Waiting for Godot as a critique (criticism) of society.

Ans. The clash between man and society, the exploited and the exploiter in the modern world is revealed through the characters of Pozzo and Lucky in Waiting for Godot. They are interdependent. Together they make a functioning organisation from which the two tramps (Vladimir and Estragon) are excluded. Pozzo cannot move forward, sit down to eat or get up. Lucky cannot move either excep in response to Pozzo’s shouted orders and whip cracks.

Pozzo and Lucky build up a society which corresponds indifferently to any division between the haves and the have-nots Pozzo owns and commands, Lucky produces and obeys. He is the beast of burden and the artist and intellectual. In the past he has taught Pozzo all he knew of beauty, grace, truth of the first water. He can still, manage a tottering dance to entertain them all. He can still at a word of command and jerk of the rope, be made to think-so long as he is wearing his hat. And, like the professional intellectual in any organised society, his thinking leads by its own momentum to conclusions so discomforting and so near the bone that the others jump on him and try to shut his mouth. This is the effect of Lucky’s breathlessly spoken and chaotic tirade. It ends in a seeming incoherence which is nevertheless dismally and intolerably clear.

It would be a mistake to think that Lucky is silenced because the listeners find his torrent of words meaningless and boring. At some deeper level, Lucky’s words raise uncomfortable ideas and suggestions. None of the listeners, Pozzo least of all, is prepared to face hard truths towards which Lucky’s ramble is inexorably driving Deprived of his hat, his thinking stops finally, unfinished: when he and his master appear in Act II, the physical run-down is fast catching up with the mental rundown. Lucky is now dumb and Pozzo blind. They fall flat on their faces and are unable to get up without help. Society, so far as they may be taken to represent it, is near to the point when it ceases to function altogether.

It is possible to treat Pozzo and Lucky as representatives of the ordinary world from which the two tramps are excluded. Pozzo and Lucky create a metaphor of society, not as it is but as the tramps might see it, with the social structure, reduced to an essential distinction between master and slave. Pozzo appears all powerful, dominating the stage by his gestures and his inflated language. By virtue of his capacity to enjoy sensual delights and wealth, he reminds us of a feudal lord, self-consciously magnanimous in his disposal of time and charity.

To sum up, like Didi and Gogo, Pozzo and Lucky may also be seen as parts of a divided self. Pozzo’s contemptuous suppression o Lucky reminds us of the materialistic tendency of man rejecting and suppressing his spiritual and cultural heritage.


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Biplob Prodhan
Biplob Prodhan Founder & Director EDNOUB Foundation Ednoub Private Program

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