How do Beckett and Kafka convey the imprisonment of the main characters in Waiting for Godot and Metamorphosis ?
In relation to the works Waiting for Godot and Metamorphosis, imprisonment can either be collective imprisonment or personal imprisonment. In both cases, it includes the restriction of personal freedom, the limitation of action and the deprivation of human contact. My objective is to investigate in what ways Beckett and Kafka convey the imprisonment of the main characters, and to examine the significance of their imprisonment. Therefore I will focus on Gregor Samsa in Metamorphosis and Vladimir and Estragon in Waiting for Godot.
Vlaimir and Estragon are imprisoned in that they are trapped in an endless cycle. Consequently, they undergo habitual dialogues and play senseless games in order to endure their desperate situation.
The main characters's imprisonment is expressed allegorically through the cyclic quality of the play. Comments like "Nothing to be done", "We're waiting for Godot" and "It's not certain" recur throughout the play.
Not only do both acts begin with the entrance of Vladimir and finish with the stage direction that Vladimir and Estragon "don't move", but equally their encounters with Pozzo, Lucky and the Boy happen twice. Contrary to what the audience expects, these encounters do not contribute at all in bringing about a change in Vladimir's and Estragon's lives. Instead, the repetition of words, actions and events convey the impression that the main characters are trapped in an endless cycle, the latter being further symbolised by
Vladimir's song about the "dog" who "came in the kitchen". The song contains two stanzas which Vladimir continuously repeats.
Estragon and Vladimir try to distract themselves from their imprisonment by undergoing habitual dialogues. After Vladimir has reminded Estragon of their duty to wait for Godot, Estragon exclaims in a "despairing" manner "What'll...