Happy Days Essay, Research Paper
Samuel Beckett s Happy Days is to be read anyway but literal. Beckett uses his brilliance to create an allegory for human condition. Winnie babbling away pretends that she has created an order out of her odd predicament. The play abandons realism and takes on the role of an optimistic idealism.
Winnie: no no can t complain no no musn t complain so much to be thankful for no pain hardly any wonderful thing that slight headache sometimes occasional mild migraine it comes then goes ah yes many mercies great mercies (pg.12)
Winnie is embedded into the earth with no choices but to babble to herself and Willie throughout the remainder of life. Yet Winnie s strangest characteristic is her happiness, her existence does not seem to be torture for her. Winnie behaves and feels as though it was all very natural and understandable. This optimistic outlook is what drives her onward and defends her against her endless despair.
A great moral, always look at the bright side, can been seen when analyzing the play, but is the moral realistic? If this reader were to be stuck in Winnie s situation he would not be remaining calm and not complaining. Perhaps the idea of overcoming the obstacles of life is relevant within Happy Days.
Winnie: I speak of when I was not yet caught in this way- and had my legs and had use of my legs, and could seek out a shady place, like you, when I was tired of the sun, or a sunny place, when I was tired of the shade, like you, and they are all empty words (pg. 38)
This is the first time Winnie speaks of her predicament and the audience realizes her suffering. One may look at this passage as a symbolism for the disabilities within life. Just as Winnie recalls before she was caught in this way a person handicapped would recall before they were handicapped. Winnie s recollection of the old style reveals her suffering by showing her desire for the past. Although there may be a longing for how things were, Winnie realizes these thoughts are just wishful thinking and acknowledges her present position. Or as Winnie would say they are all empty words.
As in every situation, no matter how bad or how good, there are always options and choices. In Winnie s case, one escape from her position is her bag. A symbolism can be drawn between Winnie s bag and the material possessions within life. Winnie is suffering and to ease her suffering and pass time she looks to the items within her bag. In reality, people function the same way. Big houses, fast cars, and lots of money are just a few of the items within society s bag. Just as Winnie realizes that there is only so much she can do with the items in her bag, society realizes that money isn t everything .
As the play passes, death is closer and closer, climbing from her waist up to her neck, but never close enough to kill her. Winnie knowing her fate recognizes another choice of escape found in her bag, Brownie. Brownie, the name given to the revolver, reveals itself several times throughout the play. Suicide is often contemplated as a last resort when stuck in life. Beckett incorporates this harsh reality into his play. Although Winnie never uses Brownie she does recognize it as an option.