Godot: Modernity

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The age of modernity is normally characterized by the development of innovative transportation, technology, and communication in the early 1900s, but it is better defined as the transformation of literature from revolving around the "American dream" to exploring the depths of human nature and existence. This change, however, did not evoke an alteration to the expectations that an audience brings to a literary work. People who read novels and plays have a desire to be presented with a parabolic creation, one that begins, climaxes, and ends. Beckett's two act tragedy, Waiting for Godot, is a work of the existential mindset that begins in the middle where it ends.

Beckett threw out the idea of literary norms in many of his works, but Waiting for Godot came to be one of the most praised and ridiculed pieces of all time. In terms of overthrowing literary norms, Godot does not have a beginning, a middle or an even an end. It does, in the literal sense, have an ending, but it does not offer any means of closure for the audience. Nothing more than random dialogue between Vladimir and Estragon open and close the play. An audience likes to leave a movie or a play feeling as if a part of them has grown to be complete. It is frustrating for the average person to have experienced a play such as Godot, having to feel lost and disjointed at its close. But that's the catch. Beckett wrote Godot to prove that the absence of elaborate plot structure and character development does not prevent the audience from deriving their own meaning from the work. In Gerry Dukes biography of Beckett, he discusses Godot and says, "Its purpose is not to have a ‘meaning,' but to provide an ‘experience.'" The play itself does not bring about new perceptions on the condition of mankind: It is the willing audience that develops an insightful perspective on human nature.

In relation to undercutting societal norms, Waiting for Godot once again serves as the archetype of modern literature. Societal...
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