Monday, August 3, 2009

Summary of the Third Session, Post-Session #3 Assignments, Pre-Session #4 Assignments

1. Summary of the Third Session
I'll expand the summary later but here's the short version:
* during the first part of day's class we discussed Translations, exploring the relationship between one's surrounding culture and one's identity. We were especially keen to think about the ways (and reasons) that individuals either embrace cultural change or resist it. We talked about this in relation to Gloucester too. We also explored the techniques that Brian Friel used in the play to develop ideas about threats to and preservation of cultural identity; we focused especially upon language (and issues of language such as translation and naming) as an aspect of individual identity and cultural identity.
* Then we talked about writing passage analysis.
* Finally we talked about Waiting for Godot. We focused on how Beckett's choices (his techniques) as a playwright helped create a sense of the absurdity of existence. We talked about how the play makes the reader/audience uneasy and that this unease is both funny and disturbing. The play, after all, is a tragicomedy, we observed. Finally, we discussed how unease, absurdity, alienation relate to issues of identity and the individual's relationship with others in all the work we've discussed so far this summer. Oh, and I also mentioned this passage from Six Degrees of Separation, a play-made-into-a-film, which deals with the imagination as a possible way out of alienation. (Will Smith!?!?) Notice the mention of the end of Godot.

2. In the comment box post your post-session #3 work by Monday, August 10 (before pumpkin time).

What do you do?
* Write your first name and last initial.
* Choose a rich, interesting, beguiling passage from Translations. On the blog type up the passage, include the page number. Write a summary of the passage. What happens? Who is involved? Where are they? When? Etc. Then write an analytical commentary. How Brian Friel is using literary techniques (is making particular choices with language) in the passage. How does the passage relate to other passages and to the themes in the play as a whole? Peel back the layers. What do you find? Remember that I encourage to speculate and take interpretive risks. (X appears to mean Y. X suggests or might mean Y.) 300+ words
* Do the same for Waiting for Godot. Choose a passage. Type it out with the page number. Write a summary. Write an analytical commentary. 300+ words.
* Finally, if you didn't turn in your pre-session work post it.

3. Wide Sargasso Sea pre-session work still to come. (If you want to start reading now. Look for motifs and look for the ways Jean Rhys shows the difficulty Antoinette has forming a viable, healthy identity in her environment. Mark the passages as you read.)
Finally, as previously sent in an email, your last pre-session work for the summer of '09:

What should you bring to class on Monday? Bring Wide Sargasso Sea. Bring paper and something to write with. Write down the page number, first few words and last few words of one passage that you would like to discuss on Monday from each of the novel's three sections. (So you'll choose three passages total; one from each of the three sections.) Then write a brief (four sentence or so) summary of each passage and three open-ended discussion questions for each passage. The passages, brief summary, and questions will be your entry ticket. (This will be a common procedure in preparation for student-led discussions.)

When choosing passages you might think about:
happiness (the desireability of, the elusiveness of, the sources of)
; identity (racial identity, social class identity, national identity, family and self, name and self); safety and threat (the effect of living with threats); madness, sanity, reason, and passion (and complications of identity); sexuality and power; reality and dreams; and images of fire and destruction, images of animals and plants (and what these images suggest about the themes stated above); finally you might consider narrative point of view (what is the effect of the shifting narrator?)


Megan Keegan said...

Megan K.


P. 54
Yolland That’s what you want, too, Roland.


Owen (explodes) George! For God’s sake! My name is not Roland!
Yolland What?
Owen (softly) My name is Owen.


Yolland Not Roland?
Owen Owen.
Yolland You mean to say-?
Owen Owen.
Yolland But I’ve been-
Owen O-w-e-n.
Yolland Where did Roland come from?
Owen I don’t know
Yolland It was never Roland?
Owen Never.
Yolland O my God!

Pause. They stare at one another. Then the absurdity of the situation strikes them suddenly. They explode with laughter. Owen pours drinks. As they roll about their lines overlap.

In this passage Yolland and Owen are sitting on the floor mapping and renaming every landmark so that everything is in English. Yolland’s job is to create a new map of the area and translate everything into English. Owen is working with him to help be a translator. Right before this passage, they are trying to rename an area named Tobair Vree. The story about the name is told, and because of how strange and ironic it is, Yolland decides to leave the name in Gaelic. Owen says that it can be kept that way if it’s what Yolland wants, and Yolland replies “That’s what you want, too, Roland.” Roland is not Owen’s name, so he corrects him. It turns out that the whole time they have worked together, Yolland has referred to Owen as Roland.

This passage reveals a lot about the two characters. There were several other times where Yolland referred to Owen as Roland, but Owen doesn’t make a big deal of it. On page 40, Yolland says “Good, Roland…” and Owen responds with “George, my name isn’t…” but he is cut off before he can correct him. Again on page 50, Yolland says “Roland’s teaching me.” and Owen doesn’t even try to tell him his name is not Roland. Both of these passages reveal that Owen doesn’t have enough confidence in himself to correct Yolland. Yolland has more power than Owen since he is a Lieutenant, so it seems that he doesn’t want to disrespect him in any way. By the third time that he is called Roland though, Owen speaks up and makes it known that he was being called the wrong name all along. Yolland doesn’t seem embarrassed that he got his name wrong, which shows that he doesn’t really care that much about disrespecting Owen. When Owen says “My name is Owen”, he says it softly, as to not show a lack of respect toward Lieutenant Yolland. The laughter at the end of their conversation is from awkwardness I suspect. After they laugh Owen says “I was getting fond of Roland”, which is a strange thing to say because if he didn’t mind being called the wrong name he probably wouldn’t have corrected Yolland at all.

Megan Keegan said...

Megan K.

Waiting for Godot:

Vladimir: Did you ever read the Bible?
Estragon: The Bible… (He reflects.) I must have taken a look at it.
Vladimir: Do you remember the Gospels?
Estragon: I remember the maps of the Holy Land. Coloured they were. Very pretty. The Dead Sea was pale blue. The very look of it made me thirsty. That’s where well go, I used to say, that’s where well go for our honeymoon. We’ll swim. We’ll be happy.
Vladimir: You should have been a poet.
Estragon: I was. (Gesture towards his rags.) Isn’t that obvious?

In this passage Vladimir and Estragon are sitting under the tree talking about a whole slew of things. The conversation has gone from Estragon’s boot to what the details are of being born to the Bible and religion. The two have just gotten done talking absurdly when Vladimir asks Estragon if he’s ever read the Bible. Estragon replies that he probably has looked at it and then goes on to describe how much he always wanted to go to the Holy Land and swim in the Dead Sea for his honeymoon. When he is done telling Vladimir about his thoughts, Vladimir says he should have been a poet. To this Vladimir jokingly says “I was. Isn’t that obvious?” while pointing to his torn up clothing.

None of what Estragon says makes sense when they are talking about the Bible. It doesn’t make sense in the first place that Vladimir asked him if he’d read the Bible because they weren’t talking about anything that would have lead them to that question. However when Vladimir asks if Estragon remembers the Gospels, he replies that he remembers the Holy Land’s map. Then he describes the map as being colored and very pretty. This probably wasn’t the answer that Vladimir was looking for. Estragon keeps going though, saying that the Dead Sea was a pale blue which made him thirsty. When he refers to where “well” go on our honeymoon, it isn’t specified who “we” is talking about. There was never a woman mentioned. In my opinion Estragon is just rambling and there isn’t a woman involved at all. It almost sounds like the “we” is referring to him and Vladimir. Estragon says “We’ll be happy,” which is kind of ironic because neither of them are happy sitting under the tree wasting time. At this point it isn’t known that they are sitting under the tree waiting for Godot, but we can assume that they have some kind of purpose for passing the time. Godot is also an interesting name because it is a play on God. They are sitting waiting for God, and it is mentioned that they have asked him a question through a prayer but they aren’t sure if he will be able to answer them.

Katina T said...

Katina T.

Passage: Pg. 36-37

Manus: What sort of translation was that, Owen?
Owen: Did I make a mess of it?
Manus: You weren’t saying what Lancey was saying!
Owen: ‘Uncertainty in meaning is incipient poetry’- who said that?
Manus: There was nothing uncertain about what Lancey said: it’s a bloody military operation, Owen! And what’s Yolland’s function? What’s ‘incorrect’ about the place names we have here?
Owen: Nothing at all. They’re just going to be standardized.
Manus: You mean changed into English?
Owen: Where there’s ambiguity, they’ll be Anglicised.
Manus: And they call you Roland! They both called you Roland!
Owen: Shhhhh. Isn’t it ridiculous? They seem to get it wrong from the very beginning- or else they can’t pronounce Owen. I was afraid some of you bastards would laugh.
Manus: Aren’t you going to tell them?
Owen: Yes-yes-soon-soon.
Manus: But they…
Owen: Easy, man, easy. Owen – Roland – what the hell. It’s only a name. It’s the same me, isn’t it? Well, isn’t it?
Manus: Indeed it is. It’s the same Owen.
Owen: And the same Manus. And in a way we complement each other.

Summary: This passage occurs right after Owen returns to Baile Bag and tries to translate Lancey’s and Yolland’s explanation that they are on a mission to change the place names of the area. Manus takes Owen aside in private, away from all the other characters. Manus confronted Owen and says that he did not translate correctly. Owen uses the excuse that different languages are a constant barrier, but Manus feels that this was a bad excuse and that Owen was trying to hide what the mission really was. Manus also points out that Yolland and Lancey have been referring to Owen as “Roland”. Owen shrugs this off and says that its only a name and he is still the same person.

Analysis: In the passage, there are many different points the author was trying to get across. One was that Owen was trying to sugar coat what they were trying to do in Baile Bag, while in reality, they were taking away what was unique about the area, and making it similar to everywhere else. Manus sees what the mission is really doing and pulls Owen aside to talk to him about it. Owen disregards the accusation from Manus and thinks he is helping is home rather than stripping it of its individuality. When Owen says “Uncertainty in meaning is incipient poetry”, he is expressing that he thinks the language barriers is what is keeping the Irish from realizes what is actually happening. He uses the excuse of the expression “lost in translation” but really doesn’t want to explain the mission. The reason he doesn’t want to explain the mission is because he is worried how the Irish people will react to this new change. Another technique Friel uses to display the miscommunication with language barriers is when Lancey and Yolland don’t call Owen by his own name. Owen acts as though it doesn’t bother him, but it does bother Manus. Owen’s name being changed also symbolizes the place names being changed. When he says “It’s still the same me,” he is also trying to say that the places will remain the same after their names are Anglicised.

Katina T said...

Waiting for Godot:
Passage: Pg. 39-40

Pozzo: How did you find me? Good? Fair? Middling? Poor? Positively bad?
Vladimir: Oh very good, very very good.
Pozzo: And you, Sir?
Estragon: Oh tray bong, tray tray tray bong.
Pozzo: Bless you gentlemen, bless you! I have such encouragement! I weakened a little towards the end, you didn’t notice?
Vladimir: Oh perhaps just a teeny weeny little bit.
Estragon: I thought it was intentional.
Pozzo: You see my memory is defective.
Estragon: In the meantime, nothing happens.
Pozzo: You find it tedious?
Estragon: Somewhat.
Pozzo: And you, Sir?
Vladimir: I’ve been better entertained.

Summary: This passage is right after Pozzo gives Vladimir and Estragon a long speech to keep them entertained. Pozzo wonders how his performance was, and both Vladimir and Estragon think he did fairly well. Pozzo is very excited that they approved, but still points out his mistakes in his speech towards the end and blames it on his memory. Vladimir and Estragon barely notice these mistakes. Estragon goes on to explain how nothing happens while they wait for Godot. Pozzo asks them if they find doing nothing to be boring. Vladimir and Estragon both feel that doing nothing does become a bit boring, but neither seemed to bothered by it to do anything about it.

Analysis: In this passage, Beckett is showing the readers that Pozzo is a form of entertainment while Vladimir and Estragon “Wait for Godot”. Even though they are not sure who Godot is, they are sure that he will be worth waiting for. But while they are waiting, as Estragon says “nothing happens”. They find ways to keep themselves preoccupied while waiting, such as the instance with Pozzo and Lucky. They even go as far as suggesting to hang themselves if Godot does not show up. But as the day goes on, and Godot doesn’t show up, they never end up doing anything different from the day before. The repetition through out the story portrays the author’s effort to show that nothing really happens while they constantly wait. This is another reason why they sometimes don’t remember events. If repetitious irrelevant moments keep occurring, what is the point in remembering them? People usually remember moments that are significant to them. So there are a million absurd phrases through out the play, but the theme remains the same; the characters look for different entertainments while they wait for Godot, and even if nothing happens in the mean time, they know that the wait will be worth the while.

nFrye said...

Nancy F.

Translations pp 36-37 "Manus: And they call you Roland...isn't it?"

In this passage, Owen and Manus are discussing the changes that are to be made to the Irish names of places. Manus points out that the English have even changed Owen's name to Roland, an English name. At this point in time, Owen is not really bothered by the change. He sees names as just labels for places, not necessarily as part of an identity. Just because his name is different does not mean that he is.

Beneath the surface of the conversation, it is possible to see that Manus is already growing uncomfortable with the situation at hand. He sees that changes that the English are making as changes in the culture and the identities of the people living in Baile Beag. Manus pointing out Owen's name change is his way of pointing out that the culture will soon be changing. At this point, the author is trying to show that, while Owen is willing to move forward and make changes under English rule, Manus favors the traditional ways of Ireland. Owen has yet to see that the Irish names are part of him and his culture and changing them changes at least part of the person that he is.

Later, however, when Owen is referred to as Roland, he grows angry. As the story progresses, the author points out that Owen, as well as the English soldier Yoland, is attached to Ireland and its history. To take away the names of its places takes away part of the story (an example being the story of the crossroads Tobair Vree). Things were being anglicized in order to make things easier for the conquering English while stripping away part of the culture of the Irish population and land.

Anonymous said...

Terri M.
Pre-Session Work

10 Pages with Spots of identity versus culture: Translations
Pages; 24, 25, 32, 41, 53, 55, 63, 81, 64, 80

11 Pages with spots of the absurdity of life: Waiting for Go dot
Pages; 10, 12, 19, 27, 58, 64, 68, 81, 90, 104, 109

Post Session Work
The play Translations is about the difficulty faced in Ireland when England decided to rename towns and counties with English names. They also set out to make maps with the new names. The community of Baile Beag is faced with this scenario. One of the townsmen decides to work with a few Englishmen as a translator. The characters are torn because they are individuals with pride for their culture, and the English treat them as if their culture does not matter. To make things more difficult, the English are taking away their language. Translation between languages is a big part of the play. Irish to English and English to Irish are not the only translations that appear however. Throughout the entire book Latin is spoken here and there (due to the setting, which takes place in a school house where Latin is taught). The characters identify with their native tongue no matter what is happening. Language barrier causes separation, frustration, comic relief, evictions, confusion and a change in the course of history.
In the play, Sarah is an important character. According to the play notes, she “is considered locally to be dumb and she has accepted this”. By dumb the author means that she had a very hard time verbally communicating. The rest of the community is having trouble because of a language barrier, but she has a barrier that cuts her off from most people. She only speaks to Manus, a man who teaches with his father in a local school. Everyone is struggling with social issues, while she is struggling to be social. Manus helps her gain confidence to say her name. Sarah is a relatively minor character in the play in the sense that she is only mentioned a few times. However, she serves an important purpose. In the play the only words she says are her name (“My name is Sarah John Sally”), “Manus” and “I am so sorry”. The book starts out with Sarah saying her name to Manus.
Analyzing the character Sarah
Sarah is used by the author to represent something about the theme of novel. In the story everyone identifies themselves by their language. Although Sarah is said to be dumb by most of the people around her, she is capable of emotion and understanding. She understands and laughs at jokes, (pg 5). She feels strong emotion when Manus leaves at the end of the book, yet she does not say more than a handful of words. She understands what is going on around her. The characters can say anything they want to anyone they want because the languages can be translated. Sarah essentially only says her name. Her thoughts cannot be translated into speech. Everyone else makes a big deal about what language they speak. Most of the people in the story identify with their language because it is either being watered down or is taking over. Sarah identifies with who she is, not what language she speaks. She looks for humor and smiles. She shows emotion when it is significant to her. Identifying with ones culture is important but a deeper quality is what defines an individual. Knowing what is important to you (in Sarah’s case, Manus), being able to find humor in life, and staying true to who you are no matter who is watching is what makes a strong person. Knowing yourself is key to fulfillment. In the play people are losing their language, but you can never lose what is important to you, you can never lose your name. That is who you are no matter what language you speak.

Anonymous said...

Waiting for Godot
Estragon: If we parted? That might be better for us.
Vladimir: We’ll hang ourselves to-morrow. (Pause.) Unless Godot comes.
Estragon: And if he comes?
Vladimir: We’ll be saved.
Vladimir takes off his hat (Lucky’s), peers inside it, feels about inside it, shakes it, knocks on the crown, puts it on again.
Estragon: Well? Shall we go?
Vladimir: Pull on your trousers.
Estragon: You want me to pull off my trousers?
Vladimir: Pull ON your trousers.
Estragon: (realizing his trousers are down). True.
He pulls up his trousers
Vladimir: Well? Shall we go?
Estragon: Yes, lets go.
They do not move
This is the very last part of the play Waiting for Godot. The two characters, Estragon and Vladimir, have just talked to a messenger boy. The boy was sent to them to tell them that the one for whom they have been waiting, Mr. Godot, cannot come this day. He will come the next. The men get upset and once again, as they have many other times in the play, contemplate suicide. They decide that since they do not have the necessary tools they will commit suicide the next day providing Mr. Godot does not arrive to “save” them. The entire play is centered on the two men waiting for Godot. No matter how they spend their time their minds are always alert and active. (Even though they forget things and remember things that may or may not happen).
I understood the play this way: You can depend on someone or something to come and make you feel good about your life, but you need to make the changes yourself to get the full benefits of the your dream. A quote that explains the theme of the play is as follows, “We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action”. ~Frank Tibolt. The two men have ideas about what they would what they would like in life. For example on page 93, Estragon talks about visiting the Pyrenees Mountains, but neither of them ever get up and do anything. This attitude towards existence is displayed throughout the entire book, up to the very last page. The two men do not actually get anything done. This is an example of what can happen to a person who lets their life slip away by always talking about their dreams, while making excuses for not pursuing them.

nFrye said...

Nancy F.

Waiting for Godot pp 104 "Vladimir: Was I sleeping…truth will there be?"

In this passage, while Estragon is complaining about his feet and taking his boots off, Vladimir is trying to puzzle out what has been happening to him in the past two (maybe) days that are witnessed. He is confused because Pozzo and Lucky have come and gone twice and yet the second time they were seen, they were very different than the first time they met. (And really, who knows how many times they had met prior to that?) While Estragon is trying to fix his physical needs, Vladimir is attempting to explain or at least understand his own existence.

Beckett is trying to show, in this passage, the state of complete confusion that Vladimir is in. As we discussed in class, it appears that Vladimir is the only one that remembers anything. Because no one else can recall the things that have happened, Vladimir isn't even sure if the things that he witnessed were actually real. We also talked about how Vladimir and Estragon could represent the mental and the physical parts of one person. While Estragon is complaining about his sore feet, Vladimir is trying to decide if he and the world around him are even real. This particular passage exemplifies the absurdist ideas: the absurdity of existence and reality. Because what is reality but what individuals perceive it as? Each person experiences his or her own reality; so to say that one thing is real and another isn't is not really based on fact but on perception. Even just the absurdity of waiting for something to happen that may never happen shows that what some people believe in can appear ludicrous, but to that person who is waiting with the hope of that something, it can mean everything. It is all in the perception of one's own reality.

Molly A said...

Pre-Session Work For Translations and Waiting For Godot

Molly A

Page 3 Line 3: Sarah overcoming a language barrier.
Page 9 Line 2: Jimmy only knowing one English word.
Page 23 Line 29: English being a language that Hugh could identify with.
Page 24 Line 4: Learning the different roots behind “proceed/acquiesco”.
Page 38 Line 1: Owen and Yolland renaming history.
Page 43 Line 21: The importance of history causes people to dislike Owen and Yolland.
Page 50 Line 17: Hugh teaching Yolland about culture.
Page 54 Line 1: Yolland’s immediate connection with the town after one small historical story.
Page 67 Line 2: Yolland and Maire’s ability to communicate without understanding one another.
Page 73 Line 13: Sarah showing Manus how much he’s taught, and her ability to be sympathetic.
Page 80 Line 23: Lancey and Owen referring to the same places with different names- the English and the Gaelic.

Waiting for Godot
Page 6 Line 22: Society believing 1 out of 4 people, because of what they want to believe.
Page 31 Line 28: Lucky rejecting the help from Estragon, out of embarrassment.
Page 37 Line 1: Pozzo requesting that Estragon ask more than once, so that Pozzo would seem polite.
Page 41 Line 3: Pozzo pitying himself, because his (still existing) luxuries have gotten less luxurious.
Page 59 Line 5: Estragon and Vladimir admitting that they only stay together because it’s convenient.
Page 64 Line 23: Vladimir saying he is both sad and joyous when Estragon is not near.
Page 66 Line 1: Vladimir telling Estragon to lie & say he’s happy, so Vladimir can convince himself.
Page 72 Line 24: The odd way Vladimir and Estragon mentally retrace their steps.
Page 80 Line 23: Vladimir and Estragon shifting hats- between Vladimir’s Estragon’s and Lucky’s.
Page 99 Line 16: Pozzo’s reasoning for not knowing how long he’s been blind.

Molly A said...

Molly A

Waiting for Godot
End of Page 65- Beginning of 66
Vladimir: You must be happy too, deep down, if you only knew it.
Estragon: Happy about what?
Vladimir: To be back with me again.
Estragon: Would you say so?
Vladimir: Say you are, even if it’s not true.
Estragon: What am I to say?
Vladimir: Say, I am happy.
Estragon: I am happy.

This passage takes place when Vladimir and Estragon are reunited once more, for their second day of waiting for Godot. They are in the same spot and situation as the previous day, discussing the emotions they inflict upon one another. While doing so, they question whether their presence in each other’s lives has a positive or negative effect on the other. In a visible desperation to convince himself that their relationship is beneficial, Vladimir orders Estragon to tell him that he is happy they are together again, whether it be the truth or not.

In this passage, a certain bond between Vladimir and Estragon is emphasized. The two discuss the same topic at the end of act one, page 59, where Estragon considers the good that could be seen in any separation they would endure. He says, “we weren’t meant for the same road”. However, when Vladimir agrees and proposes they go their opposite ways, Estragon quickly exclaims “it’s not worth while now”. There is a reliance, a need for the others company that both Vladimir and Estragon display in various parts of the play. However, the joy and pleasure in their friendship seems to be pushed aside, as though years ago it was determined that compatibility was no longer a proper measurement of any kind of relationship. They treat their bond as though it is strictly out of the convenience of so many years gone by. However, their resistance to separation uncovers the mask that illustrates the insincerities in their friendship. Throughout the play, the two constantly form thoughts off of each others words, and (on page 77) Estragon says “We don’t manage too badly, eh Didi, between the two of us?”. They are an inseparable pair, whose personalities have been formed from fragments of the other’s identity. Their personalities fit perfectly with one another, they either combine to prove one point, or shift to comfort the others’ worries. This, along with their fear of being alone and alienated from the world, is what keeps them together.

Molly A said...

Molly A

Owen: They are searching for George. If they don’t find him-
Lancey: Commencing twenty-four hours from now we will shoot all livestock in Ballybag.
Owen stares at Lancey.
Lancey: At once.
Owen: Beginning this time tomorrow they’ll kill every animal in Baile Beag- unless they’re told where George is.
Lancey: If that doesn’t bear results, commencing forty-eight hours from now we will embark on a series of evictions and leveling of every abode in the following selected areas-
Owen: You’re not-!
Lancey: Do your job. Translate.
Owen: If they still haven’t found him in two days’ time they’ll begin evicting and leveling every house starting with these town lands.
Lancey reads from his list.
Lancey: Swinefort.
Owen: Lis na Muc.
Lancey: Burnfoot.
Owen: Bun na hAbhann.
Lancey: Dromduff.
Owen: Druim Drubh.
Lancey: Whiteplains.
Owen: Machaire Ban.
Lancey: Kings Head.
Owen: Cnoc na Ri.

This passage takes place after Yolland and Maire’s “meeting”, when Yolland subsequently disappears. All of the locals are in the school house with Owen, when Lancey barges in and makes the alarming announcement. This is the moment where Owen becomes aware of the wrongness in what he has been doing. At the same time, he is being told that all he was, was a translator, a pawn in the plot that Lancey had all along. Now, the work that he had spent hours on with Yolland, was being thrown back at him, as a weapon. His own work was becoming the very thing that would destroy him, his town, his family, and his friends.

Throughout the play, a reoccurring theme is finding a way to communicate from one language, or one thought, to another that can be understood by the people around you. An example of this is the series of town names that had been translated from Gaelic to English, by Yolland and Owen. On pg. 36, Manus says “There’s nothing uncertain about what Lancey said: it’s a bloody military operation, Owen!…”, and Owen replies “Nothing at all, they’re just going to be standardised.” He believes what he’s doing is important and significant, for some giant beneficial cause; and that specific reality shields him from the truth of what is really happening. Even in times when the intentions are obvious, Owen refuses to let himself see what he’s really doing to the people around him. On page 43, Yolland says “Some people here resent us.”, and instead of replying with an opinion, Owen ignores the fact and keeps working, as though he knows its true, but doesn’t want to admit that what he’s doing could have a horrible effect. On page 54, after Owen tells the story of Tobair Vree, Yolland insists on keeping it the same, because of its history. Owen becomes annoyed, I think, because he realizes that every name that’s been destroyed has a historical story behind it, whether he is aware of it or not. Throughout this play, the constant self struggle that Owen faces, sends his mind wandering in different directions. He begins thoroughly supporting a plan that, unknown to him, is bound to destroy his county, and ends realizing that all the work he’s done, all the translations he’s made, were only there to come back and haunt him.

Andrew Ryan said...

Pre-Session Work

Ten places that deal with the relationship between culture and identity in the play Translations are pages: 24, 25, 34, 35, 36, 41, 45, 51, 53, and 65

Ten places that deal with the absurdity of existence in the play Waiting for Godot are pages: 12, 17, 28, 38, 45, 46, 47, 51, 58, 71,

Andrew Ryan said...

Andrew R.
AP English


Pg. 50

Yolland: I mean- I feel so cut off from the people here. And I was trying to explain a few

minutes ago how remarkable a community this is. To meet people like yourself and

Jimmy Jack who actually converse in Greek and Latin. And your place names- what was

the one we came across this morning? – Termon, from Terminus, the god of boundaries.

It – it – it’s really astonishing.

Hugh: We like to think we endure around truths immemorially posited.

Yolland: And your Gaelic literature – you’re a poet yourself –

Hugh: Only in Latin, I’m afraid.

Yolland: I understand it’s enormously rich and ornate.

Hugh: Indeed, Lieutenant. A rich language. A rich literature. You’ll find, sir, that certain

cultures expend on their vocabularies and syntax acquisitive energies and ostentations

entirely lacking in their material lives. I suppose you could call us a spiritual people.

Owen: (not unkindly; more out of embarrassment before Yolland) Will you stop that

nonsense, Father.

Hugh: Nonsense? What nonsense?

This passage takes place in Owens’ house. During this scene Yolland and Owen are making a new map of Ireland and translating all the Gaelic names and Anglicizing them. At the same time Owen is helping Yolland speak better Irish. In this scene Yoland realizes how rich the Irish language is. Also in this scene Hugh tries to impress Yoland with his vocabulary by using sophisticated words.
This passage goes to show how Owens’ perception of Irish people changes from when he lived in England to when he moved to Ireland and met Owen. In England, Yolland thought of the Irish as being stupid, and illiterate. But when Yolland decides to submerge himself in the Irish culture he realizes how amazing the Irish people are. He also learns how impressive they are, that they can speak not only Irish, but also Latin and Greek; whereas the English can only speak English. As much as Yolland wants to assimilate with the Irish people he can’t blend in with them because he doesn’t know their lingo. Also in this passage you see how pompous Hugh is when he says how he’s a poet, but “only in Latin, I’m afraid.” Hugh goes on to stick it in Yolland’s face of how great the Irish vocabulary is, as he says “You’ll find, sir, that certain cultures expend on their vocabularies and syntax acquisitive energies and ostentations entirely lacking in their material lives.” Hugh is also hinting that England is not one of these “certain cultures”. Hugh is talking down to Yolland by using rich vocabulary that he knows Yolland doesn’t understand.

Andrew Ryan said...

Andrew R.
AP English

Waiting for Godot

Pg. 99

Vladimir: Let him alone. Can’t you see he’s thinking of the days when he was happy. (Pause.) Memoria praeteritorum bonorum – that must be unpleasant.

Estragon: We wouldn’t know.

Vladimir: And it came on you all of a sudden?

Pozzo: Quite wonderful!

Vladimir: I’m asking you if it came on you all of a sudden.

Pozzo: I wok up one fine day as blind as Fortune. (Pause.) Sometimes I wonder if I’m not still asleep.

Vladimir: And when was that?

Pozzo: I don’t know.

Vladimir: But no later than yesterday-

Pozzo: (violently). Don’t question me! The blind have no notion of time. The things of time are hidden from them too.

Vladimir Well just fancy that! I could have sworn it was just the opposite.

Estragon: I’m going.

The setting of this scene is identical to the setting of the first act which is on a country road in the evening with nothing around but a lone tree. Prior to this scene Vladimir meets up Estragon again at the same place and at the same time. When both Vladimir and Estragon meet Pozzo and Lucky for the second time, neither Estragon nor Pozzo remembers anything about their encounter the day before. It is almost as if every character in this book except for Vladimir has amnesia. This scene is peculiar in that yesterday when Vladimir and Estragon met Pozzo he was not blind and the next day he is.

This passage is interesting because even though Pozzo is not blind literally in the first act when Vladimir and Estragon meet him but he blind figuratively to his surroundings. Pozzo, it seems is only worried about himself and only thinks himself and no other. On page 38 Pozzo asks Estragon his name, and Estragon responds by saying his name is Adam. Pozzo (who hasn’t listened) goes on to ramble about the night and how it is nothing special really. The fact that Pozzo is stricken blind seems like a curse from God (or Godot) for not using vision when he had the chance. The scenery is so simple and plain because both Estragon and Pozzo are so egocentric and self-absorbed that they don’t even pay the slightest attention to their surroundings. Only Vladimir is aware of his surroundings and the repetition of the days. He is the only one who recognizes Pozzo and Lucky from the day before and thinks it odd that Pozzo doesn’t remember him. This scene shows how inquisitive Vladimir becomes when he asks when Pozzo lost his sight and whether or not it was “no later than yesterday”. When Pozzo says “Sometimes I wonder if I’m not still asleep” it makes the audience wonder if this whole play is a dream due to its unmistakable absurdity. This play would make more sense if it were all a dream since Pozzo carries a leash attached not to a dog but to a person. Dreams like this play are absurd and don’t always make sense and it seems that Vladimir is in a dream world going along for the ride, because in dreams you don’t usually think about what makes sense you just accept it for what it is.

amycarpenter57 said...

Here's all my work.

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man is the story of a young black man some time in the twentieth century before the civil rights movement. Ellison’s unnamed protagonist goes through a lot of identity formation throughout the book and the author goes to great lengths to show how he grows in this thoughts about himself the world around him. And that is part of the purpose of the novel, to show the struggles of a young black man as he makes his way in the world and tries to figure out what he’s supposed to be doing and where he belongs. The frustration and confusion the protagonist feels as he tries to live “the way he ought to” in a white world seems to be a common theme for almost all African Americans. In fact, Ellison purposely does not name his protagonist in order to heighten the idea that the main character’s feelings, if not experiences, are universal to all blacks in America at that time.

But Invisible Man is not just a story for African American, a person of any color or background can relate to some of the protagonist’s struggles. Granted, no one today would be forced to participate in a spectacle so degrading such as the battle royal that takes place in chapter one but we’ve all been humiliated by someone in power above us before and without any power to stop it. Although our experiences might be on a smaller scale, the feelings are the same. Examples range from a parent chastising a child in front of friends or a boss falsely blaming an employee for something that he or she did not do. The situation is on a smaller scale, yes, but the feelings of helplessness and embarrassment can be the same.

amycarpenter57 said...

Along with humiliation, another feeling common that almost all humankind has experienced at one point or another is a feeling of helplessness, that they are not in control of their lives. The idea of “pawns in the game of life” is a reality to some. In the protagonist’s case, there are many examples of how people use him, move him around to suit their own means, and his feelings on the subject are that which anyone would feel in his place-anger and resentment to others. In one case, it has been revealed to the main character that the dean of his college has set him up to think that he had been given letters of recommendations but instead revealed to many heads of business in New York that the protagonist had been expelled from the school, something that even the protagonist did not know. The main character then experienced the same feelings that anyone would in that position, “Suddenly I lay shaking with anger. It was no good….Everyone seemed to have some plan for me, and beneath that some more secret plan.”

That’s the purpose of the novel, to present the life of a young African American as relatable to everyone. Relatable, because he goes through and experiences things that cause common emotions. While the exact experiences might not be relatable, we can all relate to feeling some level helplessness, frustration, anger and embarrassment when we feel that life is pushing us along and we have no way to steer ourselves. And along with the realization that we have no control over our lives comes another experience that everyone should have. That is, the sudden effort we exert to reclaim our lives for ourselves instead of being pawns for someone else, just like the protagonist did at the end of the book. Ellison wrote a novel about a young black American, but also about anyone who has ever been used by others and his intent was to draw attention to the similarities within that.

Nick B said...

• Pg. 1 – Manus, though the elder son, educated, and capable, is limited to an insignificant role as his father’s unpaid assistant because that is what his life demands.
• Pg. 5 – Jimmy resorts to wild dreaming of goddesses because he was born into a life in which he will never attain any woman above a farmhand.
• Pg. 9 – Throughout his life Manus has learned to deal with scorn and disdain even from his own people, a skill that comes in useful when he must write down the dictation making fun of himself for the old lady.
• Pg. 10 – Sarah’s embarrassment and shyness due to her speech impediment were undoubtedly magnified by her father’s fame as a singer.
• Pg. 21 – You first realize Hugh’s irony in being both an educated, demanding schoolteacher, and a town drunk when he talks about the baptism and subsequent “few libations”.
• Pg. 27 – Owen, who managed to escape from his small village, comes back drastically changes and realizes that there, everything is exactly the same.
• Pg. 48 – Yolland first tells Owen that he could see himself staying in Ireland. He came to this conclusion after realizing he related more to Ireland after a few days than he did to his homeland after a lifetime.
• Pg. 53 – Owen tries to convince Yolland that the traditional names are arbitrary and meaningless, but Yolland sees through and knows their importance lies in the familiarity the people feel to the names rather than their derivation.
• Pg. 55 – Owen tells Yolland that his name isn’t really Roland. This is a huge shock to Yolland, and his newfound confidence in Ireland is put back a stage when he realizes how oblivious to the smallest things he is because of the culture divide.
• Pg. 67 – It’s ironic how both Maire and Yolland feel the same, and think they’re carrying on a conversation, but really have no idea what each other is saying. It makes the feelings between them seem somehow less real if they can’t even verbally convey them to each other.

-Sorry, I didn't really get that we didn't have to do summaries for each marked passage.

Nick B said...

Waiting For Godot:
• Pg. 117
• Pg. 121
• Pg. 124
• Pg. 127
• Pg. 131
• Pg. 140
• Pg. 142
• Pg. 149
• Pg. 157
• Pg. 168
• Pg. 178
• Pg. 183
• Pg. 193
• Pg. 196

Nick B said...

Translations: Pg. 53

Owen: Back to the romance again. All right! Fine! Fine! Look where we’ve got to. (He drops on his hands and knees and stabs a finger at the map.) We’ve come to this crossroads. Come here and look at it, man! Look at it! And we call that crossroads Tobair Vree. And why do we call it Tobair Vree? I’ll tell you why. Tobair means a well. But what does Vree mean? It’s a corruption of Brian – (Gaelic pronunciation) Brian – an erosion of Tobair Bhriain. Because a hundred-and-fifty years ago there used to be a well there, not at the crossroads, mind you – that would be too simple – but in a field close to the crossroads. And an old man called Brian, whose face was disfigured by an enormous growth, got it into his head that the water in that well was blessed; and every day for seven months he went there and bathed his face in it. But the growth didn’t go away; and one morning Brian was found drowned in that well. And ever since that crossroads is known as Tobair Vree – even though that well has long since dried up. I know the story because my grandfather told it to me. But ask Doalty – or Maire – or Bridget – even my father – even Manus – why it’s called Tobair Vree; and do you think they’ll know? I know they don’t know. So the question I put to you, Lieutenant, is this: what do we do with a name like that? Do we scrap Tobair Vree altogether and call it – what? – The Cross? Crossroads? Or do we keep piety with a man long dead, long forgotten, his name ‘eroded’ beyond recognition, whose trivial little story nobody in the parish remembers?
Yolland: Except you.
Owen: I’ve left here.
Yolland: You remember it.
Owen: I’m asking you: what do we write in the Name-Book?
Yolland: Tobair Vree.
Owen: Even though the well is a hundred yards from the actual crossroads p and there’s no well anyway – and what the hell does Vree mean?
Yolland: Tobair Vree.
Owen: That’s what you want?
Yolland: Yes.
Owen: You’re certain?
Yolland: Yes.
Owen: Fine. Fine. That’s what you’ll get.
Yolland: That’s what you want, too, Roland.
Owen: (explodes) George! For God’s sake! My name is not Roland!

Nick B said...

Owen and Yolland are working on the Name-Book and the map. Owen gets fed up with the process and snaps on Yolland. He rants about the root of Tobair Vree, saying it’s meaningless and questioning the importance of any traditional names. Yolland holds fast, unmoved by Owen’s talk, and tells him to leave it the same. This leads to when Owen tells Yolland that his name is really Owen not Roland.

Analytical Commentary:
Owen (a.k.a. Roland) has gotten frustrated with Yolland’s concern for the preservation of the Gaelic culture. This stems from Owen’s own knowledge that their assimilatory methods are wrong, as well as his subsequent self-denial of that fact. In order to justify their work he attempts to reveal the arbitrariness of the traditional names.
At first it seems as if he may have a point – Why shouldn’t they rename everything as whatever they want? That’s how it was done in the first place, usually even less sensibly then the worst they could do then. – As he continues through his rant however, you begin to see the truth. Nothing is really meaningless, because no matter what it is, it matters to someone.
If you broke everything in the world down to the level that Owen was breaking Tobair Vree down to, absolutely everything would seem meaningless. Historical names and places aren’t important because of how they came to be, they’re important because people relate to them and identify with them. They are the culture that shapes a person’s identity. To take that away is to strip a person of their comfort zone and place them in a cold, alien world in which they’ll never fully be comfortable.
Yolland, due to his gradual acceptance of the wrongness of their work, is able to see through Owen’s paper-thin plight. Owen, however, continues to deny himself the truth, trying to put the blame/credit for the name all on Yolland. When Yolland forces Owen to see that he wants it to, he finds himself unable to handle the situation. He escapes it by changing the subject to a very absorbing one, his false name, in order to distract Yolland. The fact that despite several opportunities Owen never told Yolland that he had his name wrong shows the desperation he felt to avoid the coming truth in the conversation. Though eventually he accepts the truth, when Lancey forces him to translate the brutal threat to the townspeople, he is not ready for it at this point, and so does everything he can to avoid it.

Nick B said...

Waiting for Godot: Pg. 161

Vladimir: You again! (Estragon halts but does not raise his head. Vladimir goes towards him.) Come here till I embrace you.
Estragon: Don’t touch me!
Vladimir holds back, pained.
Vladimir: Do you want me to go away? (Pause.) Gogo! (Pause. Vladimir observes him attentively.) Did they beat you? (Pause) Gogo! (Estragon remains silent, head bowed.) Where did you spend the night?
Estragon: Don’t touch me! Don’t question me! Don’t speak to me! Stay with me!
Vladimir: Did I ever leave you?
Estragon: You let me go.

Vladimir and Estragon are meeting again to wait for Godot for the second day we’ve observed. How long they’ve really been waiting for him isn’t completely certain, as neither of them are very reliable sources. Vladimir at first seems hostile, but quickly becomes welcoming. Estragon starts out similarly, and keeps it up longer, but then in mid sentence changes his mind completely. He tells Vladimir to stay with him, to which Vladimir questions “Did I ever leave you?” This leaves it very vague whether they actually did part for the night. Estragon seems to still think they did, though he words it strangely as to leave room for interpretation. Then, as usual, they completely forget what they’re talking about and move on to another conversation.

Analytical Commentary:
Vladimir and Estragon are supposedly meeting again after a night apart. Whether they were really apart is somewhat in question however. They allude many times to how long they’ve been together, decades at least. They also seem completely incapable of leaving each others’ side. Many times one of them will threaten to go but never end up leaving. It’s therefore doubtful that they really spend many hours every night apart from each other.
Vladimir acts outraged when he sees Estragon, saying “You again!” before realizing that something is the matter with him. He then asks about the beatings that Estragon may have suffered, the same ones he alluded to the previous morning. These are very vague and random – 10 guys randomly beat up Estragon in a ditch every night? Another fact contributing to the overall unlikelihood of the whole situation.
Estragon seems hurt and upset, despite Vladimir’s comforting gestures. Suddenly he reverses his tone though, and tells him to stay with him. The added confusion of them questioning each other about whether they stayed together just makes the whole situation more surreal. This passage exemplifies the confusion and insanity of which the book centers around, and, like the book as a whole, leaves the reader very unsatisfied, with no sense of closure or truth.

fenkor said...

Hidenori O.

By: Brian Friel

Act II p 52-53

OWEN. I’m asking you : what do we write in the Name-Book?
YOLLAND. Tobair Vree.
OWEN. Even though the well is over a hundred yards from the actual crossroads-and there’s no well anyway-and what the hell does Vree mean?
YOLLAND. Tobair Vree.
OWEN. That’s what you want?
OWEN. You’re certain?
OWEN. Fine. Fine. That’s what you’ll get.
YOLLAND. That’s what you want, too, Roland. (Pause.)
OWEN. (Explodes) George! For God’s sake! My name is not Roland!

Here both Owen and Yolland are talking together as they create new names for all the different places that used to have Gaelic names. But, Yolland decides to keep the name Tobair Vree for a crossroad that no one really remembers the story of. This opens up a discussion between Owen and Yolland so that Owen finally gets the courage to correct the way his name is thought to be.
This passage parallels the passage in the beginning that shows Owen just accepting the way the English people call him. Back then he was more subservient and talked about being in the payroll of the English. But, as he gets closer to Yolland, who he finally calls George, Owen starts to talk about himself and his thoughts more. It also seemed like Owen wholeheartedly accepted the changes made by the English when he talked to Manus and said that he was fine with being called Roland. Also, when Captain Lancey made a speech to the people in the hedge-school Owen made things sound less harsh and appealing to the people who were listening. Now Owen starts to show that he really doesn’t agree with what has been happening to his homeland.

amycarpenter57 said...

Pg. 79-81 “This will suffice…what they’ve got to do.

Within this passage two thing that struck me are happening. One is much discussed translating of the place names but another thing that stuck me was the threats Lancey uses to try to frighten the people into giving away Yolland’s whereabouts. He assumes the townsfolk know where Yolland is, he already has blamed them for his disappearance and most likely things they have killed him. He says that if Yolland, or Yolland’s body which is probably what he is expecting, is not returned in twenty-four hours then he and his men will shoot every single head of livestock in Baile Beag. If the townspeople still don’t tell him where he is he will then go on to knock down all the houses and he then goes on to list many different townships with Owen translating them back to Irish.

This is an interesting part to me, mostly because it’s the most violent in the entire play, the only violence in fact. It’s only threatened violence but the play ends with us assuming that the threats are carried out. What’s interesting is the fact that it’s the British officer threatening peaceful civilians. And what threats too. It is very barbaric to go through a town and kill every animal there and forced evictions are just as cruel. The irony in all of it is that the British regiment is in Baile Beag in order to “civilize” the Irish names of places, and by doing so “civilize” Ireland itself. What Yolland’s threats show is that, for all it’s show, the English soldiers are just as barbaric and uncivilized when it comes right down to it as they this the Irish are. It’s not a new concept, showing the conquering force to be just as vicious as the supposed barbarians they are overtaking, but Friel shows this with almost uncommon bluntness.

fenkor said...

Hidenori O.

Waiting for Godot
By Samuel Beckett
Act II

What does he do, Mr. Godot? (Silence.) Do you hear me?
Yes Sir.
He does nothing, Sir.
How is your brother?
He's sick, Sir.
Perhaps it was he came yesterday.
I don't know, Sir.
(softly). Has he a beard, Mr. Godot?
Yes Sir.
Fair or . . . (he hesitates) . . . or black?
I think it's white, Sir.


This is the second time that a boy has come and talked about Mr. Godot. The first boy says that he tends goats for Mr. Godot and that his brother (second boy) tends sheep. Here the second boy says that his brother is sick to Vladimir. Mr. Godot is found to do nothing according to the boy and that he definitely has a beard. But, we don’t really know whether it is white or another color since the boy isn’t very sure.


Vladimir is Mr. Albert to the boys in both Act I and Act II. Didi is the name Estragon uses for Vladimir and Vladimir calls Estragon Gogo. Through the entire play the names Vladimir and Estragon are never mentioned which brings up questions about identity. In the beginning Didi and Gogo say that they aren’t really sure who Mr. Godot actually is or why they are waiting for him. But, according to an agreed discussion by Didi and Gogo, it seems Mr. Godot has a home, family, friends, agents, correspondents, books, and a bank account. Each time the boy comes it signals the end of one day and more definite clues on the identity of Mr. Godot. But, the boys themselves aren’t sure about Mr. Godot even though they have met him and are working for him. This creates a big mystery that the reader focuses on and question since the answer is never revealed. Though the play ends it feels like it could go on and with a new day.
Like Translations the book has a pattern that has characters doing similar things different ways. The boy coming at the end of each section makes this more obvious. Both book leave things out to make it seem like the story could continue. With things left out the reader tries to piece events together using the few clues that are given. Using patterns any difference is easier to notice and each section can be compared to the previous one. This adds on to the story and makes the reader get involved with the story

Meredith S said...

M. Salo
Translations Passage- page 51
Owen: We're making a six-inch map of the country, is there something sinister in that?
Yolland: Not in...
Owen: We're taking place names that are riddled with confusion and...
Yolland: Who's confused? Are the people confused?
Owen: And we're standardizing those names as accurately and as sensitively as we can.
Yolland: Something's being eroded.
In this passage Yolland and Owen are arguing about their assignment. Yolland has just finished discussing the "richness" of the Irish language with Hugh and he revealed that he is trying to learn the language. The way Owen and Yolland are acting in this scene really does match up with who they are. Yolland is a complete outsider, but he feels guilty about changing the small elements of the culture that he is imposing on. Owen is from this area but he is acting determined to make the changes he has been ordered to make. Considering the backgrounds of both of the characters, it would seem that their feelings should be switched. I think Brian Friel is trying to show that Yolland and Owen are experiencing the same desire to fit into another culture. Owen wants to be part of the English culture because it seems more exciting to him than his own, but Yolland likes the Irish culture for exactly the opposite reason. The fact that Yolland wants to learn the Irish language after spending just a short time in Baile Beag shows how much he wants to become a part of something different than what he is used to. I think that Owen is so eager to introduce changes to in Baile Beag because he feels that his home is inferior to the English, and people such as Lancey and Yolland would look down upon him if he was content with how it was. It is clear that Owen has been heavily influenced by the English and he is confused about where he belongs in Baile Beag after experiencing a different way of life. Both Owen and Yolland are trying to figure out how their culture influences how they think.

Meredith S said...

M. Salo
Waiting for Godot passage-Page 57
Vladimir: Your boots, what are you doing with your boots?
Estragon: I'm leaving them here. Another will come just me, but with smaller feet, and they'll make him happy.
Vladimir: But you can't go barefoot!
Estragon: Christ did.
Vladimir: Christ! What has Christ got to do with it? You're not going to compare yourself to Christ!
Estragon: All my life I've compared myself to him.
Vladimir: But where he lived it was warm, it was dry!
Estragon: Yes. And they crucified quick.
Vladimir: We've nothing more to do here.
Estragon: Nor anywhere else.
In this passage, Estragon has given up on putting on his boots and decides to leave them behind. It's kind of ironic that he thinks he is leaving them behind for someone else when he will be back in the same spot the next day. I think the religious reference in this part is not only meant to be about Christianity, but about religion in general. Estragon is representing every religious person in history and Vladimir is playing the role of every non-religious person who has tried to prove religion to be pointless. I think it's funny that Estragon is trying to do something gracious by leaving his boots for someone else but then he compares himself to Jesus, which makes the gesture seem like the product of arrogance. The fact that Estragon says that another will come "just as" him could play off the fact that there are certain things in life that every person wants. The boots in this case represent a common goal for every person. Estragon knows that the next person to come along will want the boots, just like he did.
The last two lines I wrote out show the random direction of conversation in the play. As in this case, a conversation or argument can be dropped quickly by the characters and they will continue onto a completely different and unrelated topic. This seems to be an allusion to how rapidly changes take place in life. What strikes me as being odd is that the characters are always the ones making the changes; their environment does not change. This might not make sense, but you could imagine Estragon and Vladimir representing two opposing forces of a person's personality. The forces are constantly interacting internally, but not acting outwardly, in the same way that Estragon and Vladimir interact with each other but do not interact with their surroundings much.