“No much better, no even worse, no change No discomfort.” Happy Days’ heroine declares as she’s repaired in a state of endlessness in the middle of no place, with a marital relationship that appears to be operating in vain. Beckett provides the audience with a curious plot, along with fascinating characters and a strange background – and an unanticipated, pendent ending. The play opens with Winnie revealed buried in a mound of earth which, by itself, continually cases her body upward and does not sink her in as is the normal case.
How this came to be stays to baffle me as the play proceeds to only focus on the present state of the lead female (Winnie) and her relationship with her aloof partner, Willie whilst in their different places – Winnie is hopelessly captured in land above ground whereas Willie easily resides in a deep hole a number of feet from where she stands. Nevertheless, as was mentioned, their present state is however an extension of their marital relationship – it wasn’t always like that.
Winnie, as critiques have actually said, is that ‘hopeful futilitarian’ due to her bleak optimism – a fascinating paradox however quite true in her case considering that she rests in the same spot everyday, stuck to the same regular with a timeline that is neither distinct or undoubtedly existing, and yet she insists to see only the couple of good ideas there is. “This will have been a happy day!” she exclaims, an expression where the past and future collides therefore holding no conclusive meaning in a temporal universe – such shows that Winnie lives just in the present; ‘… a pleased day’, she deems, would be the periodic remarks Willie makes when her inconvenience has actually become excessive for him.
Nevertheless, despite her efforts to see the intense side of things, she still acknowledges her fate, which is death: “… await the happy day to come when flesh melts at so lots of degrees and the night of the moon has a lot of hundred hours.
” Winnie’s loneliness and need for Willie’s attention is already apparent through her volubility and her fabricated personas: Shower/Cooker and his fiancee, made out of the need for the feeling of being cared about. Meanwhile, Willie, is a character that is of her total opposite – he tends to dwell in the past as is represented by his recurring read of the same old edition newspaper; he lives in silence, speaking only when his wife pesters him so; insensitive; and dirty-minded (having laughed at the word ‘fornication’ for being sounding like ‘fornication’, and keeping a sexually-appalling postcard among his possessions).
Though a major character, he’s barely shown on-stage. Happy Days’ is a dialogue, but with Winnie’s incessant talking and Willie’s indifference towards her, it might as well be a monologue. Regardless, both characters are similar in that they recognize the inevitable: death. Winnie has this black shopping bag where she keeps her everyday necessities: her almost bristle-bare toothbrush, a comb, a magnifying glass, and a revolver.
This daily routine somewhat turned into some sort-of death ritual for her, considering that there is nothing else to come but the expected; the revolver, most especially, is a significant symbol considering that it gives her the option to simply kill herself at anytime. The approach of death is also evident as Winnie is being buried alive and Willie, in due course, weakens in crawling out of his hole.
The play ends as Willie, dressed formally, comes up to Winnie and whispers ‘Win’; they, then, look at each other through a long pause as the curtains dramatically closes before them. Samuel Beckett’s “Happy Days” will keep the audience entranced and thinking all throughout. Its relentless comic efforts and real-life metaphors maintain a dramatic yet light-hearted setting that somehow highlights it as a one-of-a-kind literary piece. I personally enjoyed it – it wasn’t an absolute drama but rather one with a ridiculous blend.
The whole time it kept me wondering how they ended up in such position and what really went on inside Willie’s head. Winnie, on the other hand, is a character I found amusing, albeit charming – her expressions where especially noteworthy. Happy Days left me no disappointments or regrets, it appealed to my humorous nature and creative interests since it gave me an option to construct my own alternate sequel on account of the pending ending, as well as the mysterious story before all these.