Discuss the dramatic effects [meaning: plot, character, dialogue, language, stage directions]* of the passage [ refer to your photocopied text Start- pg 16. Estragon: (Violently.) I'm hungry. / End pg 18. Estragon: Nothing to be done. (He proffers the remains of the carrot to Vladimir.) Like to finish it?] and how it reflects the concerns in Waiting for Godot.
Waiting for Godot presents a bleak caricature of the human condition in order to examine more closely the key theme of existentialism. This short passage is symptomatic of the rest of the play, effectively condensing its concerns about human existence in several very poignant moments and metaphors. Central to the passage is the carrot, which acts as a physical and visual metaphor for life itself, and the disappointment that it brings. The fact that the carrot has a deeper meaning is not immediately evident. Initially, Beckett's choice of food gives us an insight into his thematic concern. Carrots and turnips are a peasant's food. They taste dull and insipid, and no one but the desperately poor would even contend to eat them day after day "make it last, that's the last of them". The initial dialogue (regarding the carrot) between Estragon and Vladimir further builds on our understanding, with Estragon's weary question "Is that all there is?" finally revealing Beckett's axiom; that hunger, hardship and (most importantly) disappointment are the unalterable laws of life. Beckett builds on this point by showing man's eternal struggle to make something of his life via the stage directions given "Vladimir rummages... he rummages again". The word "rummages" suggests a blind fumbling, while "again" suggests repetition. When put together, and repeated several times in that scene, the physical search for a carrot, but finding only turnips "Give me a carrot. ...[Angrily.] It's a turnip!", is emblematic of the wider struggle that all humans face against hardship, but also against false hope. In particular, the curt...
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