So, the top for Day 9 of the of 30 Day Book Challenge is: A Book I Thought I Wouldn’t Like But Ended Up Loving.
And, my choice for today is Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.”
(Image Source: Serendipity)
I read this book as part of my Literature modules’ curriculum. I gotta say, that on my first look and I really thought I wasn’t going to like it. The book cover was not enticing at all. It was so dark and dingy with a subtitle saying “a tragicomedy in two weeks.” I flipped through the pages briefly and it looked bare and boring.
I mean, the play started with the statement, “A country road. A tree. Evening.” There’s literally only a handful of characters and they seemed to be exchanging random words and statements that doesn’t make sense. And, if you think it’s only going to get better, let me tell you that in the second act, the play repeats itself from the very beginning with subtle but important changes.
But, is it a sucky book? Nope. It’s far from it.
As I read through the pages and looked past the surface, I started falling in love with it… way more than what I expected.
Basically, Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo) were having conversations about the seemingly ridiculous but really important things as they wait for Godot (who never really shows up) by the tree on a country road. And I loved how the minimalist setting and short snappy exchanges emphasised the deep profound issues haunting them. Didi and Gogo discussed the theme of relativity of time, reality vs imagination, action vs consequences, and existentialism. And, it was so witty that they made me question myself too! They even had biblical references (e.g., image of God, Adam, Abel and Cain) that hit my soft spot! Indeed, analysts debate on whether Godot is pertaining to Pozzo, God or a mockery of Him? In addition, I’m intrigued by the love/hate relationship among them. It’s like they pretend to have a hierarchy but they are really all the same and are rather mutually dependent without realising it. There’s this struggle to hold on or let go, to wait or move on.
Well, some may describe “Waiting for Godot” as an absurdist play or a tragic commentary on the emptiness that pervades life but I really think the book is open to however you want to interpret it. And, that’s the beauty of it and what makes it even more special. Everytime I read it, something new strikes me (believe me, I just read it again today) and there’s always something new to think about.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Didi, Gogo, Pozzo, and Lucky are incredibly hilarious and awfully entertaining. Sometimes, they can be so ridiculous, forgetful, and dumb that it made me wonder if that’s how we really are as humans. I remember finishing the book with an existential crisis myself, going “What?! What?! What?!” Are we that easily manipulated? What are we waiting for? What’s our purpose in this world? Do we even really exist to begin with? And, then I knew, this book, no matter how simple or absurd is one of the coolest book ever – and I love it!
If you’d like to read the “Waiting for Godot” book for free, you can do so at this website. Afterwards, do tell me what you think.
(Image Source: Rosario Mario Capalbo)
Vladimir: Was I sleeping, while the others suffered? Am I sleeping now? Tomorrow, when I wake, or think I do, what shall I say of today? That with Estragon my friend, at this place, until the fall of night, I waited for Godot? That Pozzo passed, with his carrier, and that he spoke to us? Probably. But in all that what truth will there be? (Estragon, having struggled with his boots in vain, is dozing off again. Vladimir looks at him) He’ll know nothing. He’ll tell me about the blows he received and I’ll give him a carrot. (Pause) Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. (He listens) But habit is a great deadener. (He looks again at Estragon) At me too someone is looking, of me too someone is saying, He is sleeping, he knows nothing, let him sleep on. (Pause) I can’t go on! (Pause) What have I said?
Also, please remember to visit Cumuloquoise to find out which book she end up loving. We’ll catch you again tmr for our favourite classic book. Tata! ❤