entirely upon the society in which one lives for a sense of reality and identity, it is impossible to take a stand against that society without reducing oneself to nothingness in the process. The waiting of Vladimir and Estragon and the journeying of Pozzo and Lucky offer themselves as contrasts of various activities in the modem world all of which lead to no fruitful end; therefore, each pair is hopelessly alienated from the other pair.
Vladimir and Estragon are homeless tramps. The philosophical influence of Joyce on Becketts work is evident in the language play. A round song in B-1. The concept of the passage of time leads to a general irony. In this way, Vladimir and Estragon attain truly heroic proportions; they endure. Generally, the point seems to be that man does not know himself He has lost all sense of individualism and either functions isolated and alienated, or else finds himself lost amid repetition and conformity. V: They make a noise like wings. The early plays of Edward Albee and Harold Pinter fit into this classification, but these dramatists have also written plays that move far away from the Theater of the Absurd's basic elements.
Yet if the technique serves to emphasize the absurdity of man's position in the universe, then to present this concept by a series of ridiculous situations is only to render man's position even more absurd; and in actuality, the techniques then reinforce that very condition. Edward Albee, an American, differs significantly in his emphasis and concern with the sexual substructure of society. Beckett is not a formal or doctrinaire existentialist, but he could hardly avoid being affected by existentialism, for such ideas were part of his cultural milieu. Then in the face of this absurd situation, we have the equally appalling justifications and reasons in favor of being metamorphosed advocated in such clichs as "We must join the crowd "We must move with the times and "We've got to build our life. If there are no white people present, then one of the blacks in the audience must wear a white mask; if the black refuses, then a white mannequin must be used, and the actors must play the drama for this mannequin. That is, one action carries no more significance than does its opposite action. They continue to wait for Godot. (He reflects.) We wouldn't have to go into the details. V: That's all dead and buried.