top-rated free essay

How Do Samuel Beckett (“Waiting for Godot”) and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (“Chronicles of a Death Foretold”) Manage to Break the Chains of a Circular Novel/Play?

By dannysa Oct 01, 2008 1105 Words
In “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett and “Chronicles of a Death Foretold” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the reader is presented with an un-orthodox beginning of story in both novels. While Beckett’s play starts with the antithesis of a usual opening line “Nothing to be done”, Marquez’s novel does the same “On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar” thus condemning the novel to a foretold destiny. These approaches withdraw any initial suspense that the novel or play could offer; this then poses a question: what is the reader’s interest in the remainder of the story? How does the author manage to maintain a grip on the reader throughout the rest of the story, with the end already foretold? There are not many similarities in between the two authors and therefore the methods used by the authors might be different in how they are used to achieve the goal, but in terms of the objective they are quite similar. Once read, both stories seem to have a circular pattern to them. “Waiting for Godot” ends up where it began, while “Chronicles of a Death Foretold” ends with the already expected death. So, how do Samuel Beckett and Gabriel Garcia Marquez change their story, with an apparently circular theme?

In “Chronicles of a Death Foretold”, such un-orthodox starts shatter any illusion that the reader might have of a police thriller is blown away by the opening sentence of the novel “On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on.”. Instead, as the title suggests, the novel is a re-telling of a death which was already announced. The narrative that the story uses, a first person re-telling with occasional first hand witnesses, withdraws any cliché build up to any event. Instead, the reader is being told what has happened bluntly, with no hesitant fear and paying no great deal of attention to the death itself. The death then becomes a setting to the story instead of the main focus. The reader therefore focuses on why and how the death occurred. The actual death is paid little importance by the author, with more detailed descriptions being given to the events leading up to the event. The constant interruptions by the witnesses of the people present, interrupts any fluent story line that the story might have and turns it into an analytical piece of writing, There is no waste of words to lead up to a shocking ending which leaves the reader superficially happy. There is, instead, a great amount of detail to describe the human nature through Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s thorough knowledge of these particular cultures. However, not only are we kept waiting by Marquez’s enthralling narrative, the characters within the story are kept waiting as well. The reader may tend to alienate him or herself from the characters, seeing as they were all condemned to participating in the crime by the novel; but in fact, the characters are very similar to us. Just like the reader, all of the secondary characters are waiting for a reason why the murder is going to happen. Just like the reader, the characters know the murder is going to happen, but they seem to be looking for a justification for the murder. What seemed like alienation now can be looked at as an incorporation of the reader into the story. The reader is again brought into the process of waiting in “Waiting for Godot”. “Waiting for Godot” is an absurdist play with the odd theme of waiting. Vladimir and Estragon are two wandering characters who are stuck in the middle of nowhere waiting for someone who might not even exist. The reader is not expecting anything for the author has not provided any features which might allow the story to move forward and to obtain any interesting plot. The story basically begins and ends in the same way “Estragon: [Giving up again] Nothing to be done” (pg. 11)” “Estragon: Yes, let’s go. [They do not move]” (pg.88) in the way that they both express a sense of stillness and hopefulness, thus leaving the story at a standstill. However, Samuel Beckett shatters this standstill through the use of language that not only entertains the audience, but it seems to also be the only source of entertainment for the two characters. Indeed, the story alters its focus from the wait that these characters are subjected to, to the way in which these characters survive the wait. Through the use of language, Samuel Beckett manages to give the play a deeper meaning which is not obtained in normal plays. Through this un-orthodox method of playwright, Beckett manages to focus the audiences attention on the situation the characters find themselves in, instead of preparing the audience for the end with the usual techniques of suspense which make the audience forget about the actual meaning of the story and care more for the outcome. Therefore, and once again, the reader is brought into the process of waiting and the play places the reader into the character’s shoes. While reading the beginning of the story, the reader may also share the belief with Vladimir and Estragon that Godot will in fact arrive. However, as the story moves on, the reader gets weary and comes to grips with the fact that Godot will, in fact, never arrive. While the reader can afford to relieve him or herself from this burden, both characters in the play are condemned to wait for an eternity for they have no choice but to wait for someone who might not even exist. Such is the experiment that Samuel Beckett is exposing to the reader; an experiment which contemplates human nature.

“Chronicles of a Death Foretold” is not a story being told, but instead a reflection of Marquez’s thoughts and beliefs. Due to Marquez’s undeniable writing talent, he manages to grip his reader and leaving the reader with an understanding of the situation he is discussing; which in my opinion is an example of human nature. As for “Waiting for Godot” Beckett manages to use his knowledge of language to turn an apparently dull and endless story, into an sublime example of human relationship that uses the absurdist idea of having two people stuck in the middle of nowhere, to attract and generate a feeling of curiosity in the reader to then make the reader obtain a level of understanding through the effect of language.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: An Analysis

    ... In Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, nearly everyone in the novel seems to know of Santiago Nasar’s impending murder, but almost no one takes action to stop the crime. Each witness has a ready excuse or simply expects someone else to take action. Marquez implies that people must be compelled to take risk on behalf of...

    Read More
  • Chronicle Of A Death Foretold By Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    ...The Power of a Community The cultural values and standard of living within a community has a way of molding individuals and their ways of life to fit certain criteria. In his Novella, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, author Gabriel Garcia Marquez demonstrates how the value of honor and machismo can be powerful and victimizing of individuals like t...

    Read More
  • Waiting Fo Death - Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot

    ...Waiting for Death By: Stephanie Melo Pabón Analysis on Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot”. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett is a play starred by Vladimir and Estragon, two men who seem to spend their days in a country road talking, wandering and blathering while waiting for a person they call Godot. This Godot never appears in t...

    Read More
  • Themes in Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot

    ...Themes in Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’. Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ is a typical example of what is referred to in literary terms as ‘Absurd Theatre’, a phrase referring to 20th century works that depict the absurdity of modern human creation, often with implicit reference to humanity’s loss or lack of reli...

    Read More
  • Role of Religion in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    ...of religion in "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, first we have to understand the setting of plot, the era where the story has been set, the society and community it deals with. The work is set in an unnamed, remote part of Colombia. The novel is considered by many to be loosely based on the killing of Kitty Genovese in N...

    Read More
  • Power of Friendship and Relationship in Waiting for Godot and Endgame by Samuel Beckett

    ...friendship and relationship in Waiting for Godot and Endgame by Samuel Beckett. Human happiness in a Beckettian style. Endgame and Waiting for Godot of 1957 and 1953 by Samuel Beckett are texts that show little sign of conventional happiness of human existence. Instead they pursue an absurdist and nihilistic themes where humans are pictured i...

    Read More
  • Narrative approaches in "The Chronicles of a Death Foretold" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    ...Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses as a variety of different narrative approaches in the chronicles of a death foretold, to effect the readers perception of narrator himself. These unique narrative strategies make the reader question the intentions of the narrator, his own character and the means in which the narrator tells the unusual hazy and jumbled...

    Read More
  • An Analysis of Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    ...Honor In the novel “Chronicle of a death Foretold” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez honor is one of the many significant themes that play an important role in the story. In the story, Santiago is brutally murdered because of family honor. He is also never warned by any of the townspeople, except his friend who fails to warn him because they all be...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.