Gender In Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot

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Gender is quite a confounded subject when it comes to Samuel Beckett. From doing some background information into Beckett’s life, we come to the realisation as a reader of his work, that his relationships with women were often very convoluted and unproductive which differed to his affiliations towards men and the male characters he formed throughout his work. Beckett seemed to have a close relationship with his belated father Bill Beckett. Unfortunately, it was short lived as Bill passed away in 1933 leaving his beloved son in an anguished state with only his Mother to contend with. He had a somewhat tumultuous relationship with his mother May. May somewhat influenced some of his writings as you can clearly see glimpses…show more content…
Yet there is one provocative question that comes to mind when reading this. Why is there not a single female character? Beckett’s early work certainly exhibited misogyny. In Waiting for Godot, we get the impression that there can be no other gender in the world apart from the male. In other words, the male existence is the only important thing. The absence of women has been popularly related to the plays scepticism in cancelling out a possibility of redemption through the reproductive cycle of life. The absence of a female is because the relational scheme of this play is homosocial, if not homoerotic. Didi and Gogo is a pseudo couple to use Beckett’s own expressions. A woman simply does not fit in in this radical gay figuration of the world. We as the reader might see Godot as a mother. In this sense, the play might be seen to represent the invisibility and unknowability and yet the irresistible desire to know the feminine enigma. If we look at Vladimir, we can see that there is absolutely no discussion in the play about him being a man, or about his assumed manliness. He was certainly a cypher for ideas but a very normal man, almost seen as more of a ‘thing’ than a gender. We as the reader wonder that could such a character exists that might actually be a female. Then we come back down to earth and face reality that we are dealing with a Beckett play and that of course the two protagonists are male. It is very easy to view this play as a play of nothingness other than two men who are initially waiting for something or someone to arrive. However, we can clearly see the companionship between these two male characters; they have a bond that cannot be tampered with. We can see that they care deeply about one another and in many ways are highly dependent on each other in order to survive what we can imagine to be a very hostile
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