Waiting for Godot Analysis

In Waiting For Godot, how does Beckett reflect the mood of post-war environments? Refer to 1 other related text in your response. [1000 words]

Texts are often permeated by the concerns and paradigms of the society from which they emerge, as the work may be shaped by, or respond to, these ideas. The period known as ‘After the Bomb’ or the Cold War, was characterised by an intensified questioning of human beliefs and values, thus many texts from this period reflect this.   Through examining Samuel Beckett’s 1949 play Waiting for Godot and John Frankenheimer’s 1962 film The Manchurian Candidate, one can see how the intensified questioning of freedom and absolutes was a key thematic concern in After the Bomb texts.
The conflict between self-determination and subjugation from authorities is a key issue in many texts from this period. The importance of liberty to people during the Cold War was expressed by US Secretary of Defence, Caspar Weinberger, "It's all about freedom. Individual, personal, human freedom and whether we, and our children will be allowed to exercise it". Waiting for Godot utilises absurdity to make ridiculous the things that are irrational and very terrible, demonstrating the ludicrous nature of the domination of the individual. Beckett’s work is a product of Theatre of the Absurd movement which Ionesco described as “That which is devoid of purpose...Cut off from his religious, metaphysical, and transcendental roots, man   is lost; all his actions become senseless, absurd, useless”. Though this style of theatre is grounded in Existentialism, the play both reflects and contradicts this type of thought. The autonomy that comes with not being dictated by religion is instantly suppressed by a faceless authority figure; Godot’s peripheral presence overrides the ability of the characters to do anything, as the title Waiting for Godot and Vladimir constantly reiterate, “’If we dropped [Godot]?’ ‘He’d punish us’”. This subordination of their free will is...