Forgetting and its authenticity/inauthenticity in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot
Narjess Jafari Langroudi
The current paper aims at reading Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in the light of forgetting motif as the culmination of the crisis of cognition. Forgetting can also be indicative of a desire for a new beginning and a new identity. The researcher wants to see whether forgetting in Waiting for Godot is purely authentic or purely inauthentic or to put it differently, whether forgetting is conducive to a new identity or it is portentous of a disintegrating personality? After reading Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and analyzing the play textually, the researcher finds that the play’s world is based on the keyword, perhaps. Considering this, perhaps forgetting is deliberate and acts as a shelter for the characters. Trying to remember something or trying to think about something does not work in this play. It seems as if the characters cannot go through remembering and thinking but remembering or thinking themselves come to the characters which is quite transitive and intuitive. Therefore, in the play, some traces of Henry Bergson’s idea of spontaneous remembering and Martin Heidegger’s idea of thinking and even deconstruction of any kinds of binary oppositions are traceable. There is perpetual evasion from certainty that one feels as if the characters have entered a dreamlike environment. On the whole, throughout the play, there is simultaneous asserting and withdrawing from meaning that highlights the tendency towards deliberate forgetting. There is no specific track of before and after in the play which is suggestive of a limbo-like world. The researcher concludes that Waiting for Godot’s world has more tendency towards internal world, but even the internal world is not immune from the real world’s crisis of cognition. It argues that, forgetting suspends judgment; and no one can judge dogmatically; neither the characters nor the readers of the play, and in this regard, forgetting is both authentic and inauthentic.