Monday, April 25, 2016

Hoplessness Mashup

While reading Waiting for Godot, I noticed some some common themes between it and Death of a Salesman. One of the main connections I picked up on was hope. Godot is all about hopelessness, and how the characters have no foreseeable future, no chance that things will improve. Salesman shares these themes, but they are presented under a curtain of false hope. The characters convince themselves that they will be able to make something of themselves and have a bright future, only to have reality to set in and steal their hope away.

Because of these similarities, I thought it would be interesting to put together a conversation between Willy Loman, from Salesman and Vladimir, from Godot. I chose these two because I think they have a lot in common. Aside from the hopelessness (and even the attempts to hold onto hope, which Vladimir occasionally exhibits), they also both attempt to leave, and to escape.

WILLY: It’s all right. I came back.

VLADIMIR: I'm glad to see you back. I thought you were gone forever.

WILLY: You’re not worried about me, are you?

VLADIMIR: When I think of it . . . all these years . . . but for me . . . where would you be . . .  You'd be nothing more than a little heap of bones at the present minute, no doubt about it.

WILLY: Someday I’ll have my own business, and I’ll never have to leave home any more.

VLADIMIR: Nothing you can do about it.

WILLY: Well, I didn’t figure it yet, but... 

VLADIMIR: Hope deferred maketh the something sick, who said that?

WILLY: No, no, some people- some people accomplish something. 

VLADIMIR: Precisely.

WILLY: Certain men just don’t get started till later in life. Like Thomas Edison; I think. Or B. F. Goodrich. One of them was deaf.

VLADIMIR: You should have been a poet.

WILLY: I gotta overcome it. I know I gotta overcome it. 

VLADIMIR: The essential doesn't change.

WILLY: Don’t insult me.

VLADIMIR: That's it.

WILLY: Don’t talk about something you don’t know anything

I could have kept going with this conversation, but I didn't want to make it too long. Finding lines that work together was surprisingly easy, considering how long the two plays are. These two characters just have a lot in common.

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