3

Books

The Nature Of The Mind In Waiting For Godot, Mrs Dalloway And Frankenstein

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

It is inevitable that if our world is in upheaval, so too are our thoughts likely to be chaotic and turbulent, experiencing concerns and emotions new to us. However, literary worlds often represent how this turbulence can lead to the invigorating of peoples mindset, with the upheaval itself cementing our values and principles. Samuel Beckett’s play, Waiting For Godot, represents the chaotic nature of the mind in times of upheaval through its style of absurdism. Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway demonstrates that while upheavals result in the devastation of one’s mind, in the most dire circumstances one’s values can be cemented and people are able to perform self-reflection. Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, also reflects the chaotic nature of the mind in times of upheaval, while demonstrating that in times of upheaval the principles and values of individuals and communities are cemented and what is of the greatest importance to them is revealed. Therefore, the statement that “it is inevitable that if our world is in upheaval, so too is our mindset” reflects some-what the complexity of the representation of upheavals in the literary worlds of Waiting For Godot, Mrs. Dalloway and Frankenstein.

While Frankenstein represents the chaotic nature of the mind in times of upheaval, the novel also subverts the statement by demonstrating that in times of upheaval the principles and values of individuals and communities are cemented and what is of the greatest importance to them is revealed. The anarchic nature of the mind in these times is expressed through the monster’s reflection on the upheaval of his creation, ‘My person was hideous and my stature gigantic. What did this mean? Who was I? What was I? Whence did I come? What was my destination? These questions continually recurred, but I was unable to solve them.” Through the use of repeated rhetorical questions in a continuous sentence, Shelley creates a stream of consciousness that allows the reader to sense the turbulent nature of the monster’s mind through demonstrating his lack of purpose and identity. This tumultuous nature of the mind during upheavals is also expressed when Frankenstein is comprehending the death of Elizabeth, “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change”. These two examples of the chaotic nature of the mind in times of upheaval can be linked to the changes that occurred within Shelley’s context in how the community saw the progress of the Scientific Revolution as limitless. This upheaval resulted in individuals questioning there values and beliefs about the world and how to morally act within it, therefore reflecting that if our world is in upheaval so too is our mind. Therefore, Frankenstein reflects the idea that if our world is in upheaval, so too is our mind. However, Frankenstein also represents how this turbulence can lead to the invigorating of peoples mindset, with the upheaval itself cementing our values and principles.

While the upheavals in Frankenstein devastated the minds of the characters, the novel also demonstrates that individuals minds are strengthened by upheavals as they reinforce principles and values and reveal what is of the greatest importance to individuals. Frankenstein, due to the creation of the monster realises the value and importance of his family and friends while before disregarding them in the pursuit of his studies, “Two years passed in this manner, during which I paid no visit to Geneva, but was engaged, heart and soul, in the pursuit of some discoveries which I hoped to make.” After the creation of the monster, Frankenstein was highly disturbed and afraid, but found solace in his childhood friend Henry Clerval, “I grasped his hand, and in a moment forgot my horror and misfortune; I felt suddenly, and for the first time during many months, calm and serene joy.” While Frankenstein’s mind was in upheaval he was able to realise the importance and value of his friends and family, therefore, strengthening and invigorating his mind. Therefore, the statement that “it is inevitable that if our world is in upheaval, so too is our mindset” reflects some-what the complexity of the representation of upheavals in the literary world of Frankenstein.

Mrs. Dalloway demonstrates that while upheavals result in the devastation of one’s mind, in the most dire circumstances one’s values can be cemented and people are able to perform self-reflection. The turbulence of the mind in times of upheaval is demonstrated through Septimus Smith’s upheaval of returning home from war with shell shock and witnessing his own best friends death, “Miracles, revelations, agonies, loneliness, falling through the sea, down, down into the flames, all were burnt out, for he had a sense, as he watched Rezia trimming the straw hat for Mrs. Peters, of a coverlet of flowers” Through the style of a stream of consciousness, Woolf demonstrates the chaotic nature of Smith’s mind by including unfinished thoughts, switching from reality to his reflection and describing his emotions with the imagery and contrast of the “sea” and the “flames”. This reflects the upheaval of World War I as it explores how the anxiety and alienation caused by the war affects individuals from all walks of life. However, towards the end of Smith’s journey, he realises the worth of his soul and his unwillingness to compromise or bargain for it, “But he would wait till the very last moment. He did not want to die. Life was good. The sun hot. Only human beings – what did they want?” While this realisation leads to his eventual suicide, Smith comprehends the importance of maintaining his integrity as a human which therefore allows him to attain the identity which was left adrift after the horrific and aimless war. Therefore, Mrs. Dalloway both demonstrates that “If our world is in upheaval, so too is our mind”, and that these circumstances allow individuals values to be cemented and for people to perform self-reflection. Therefore, the statement some-what reflects the complexity of the representation of times of upheaval within Mrs. Dalloway.

Waiting For Godot represents the chaotic nature of the mind in times of upheaval through its style of absurdism. The absurd setting of Waiting for Godot is bleak and not specific to a geographic location, date or time. Through this, Beckett captures a sense of complete isolation and powerlessness with respect to the individual’s role in the world at large with the setting only being described as “A country road. A tree” and the characters often describing their loneliness in this setting “There’s no lack of void”. Therefore, the setting serves the purpose of removing visual distractions so that all the audience can focus on the characters chaotic minds. This is linked to the upheaval of the play’s context. The dropping of the bombs left people questioning how a rational God could allow such horrors to occur. People were subsequently forced to question their own existence and the continued existence of humankind like never before. This chaos of the mind is also demonstrated through Vladimir and Estragon’s dialogue, “I’m like that. Either I forget right away or I never forget.” and through the plays stage directions, “Estragon: Well, shall we go? Vladimir: Yes, let’s go. They do not move”. Through its style of absurdism, Waiting For Godot reflects the statement that “It is inevitable that if our world is in upheaval, so too is our mindset” by capturing the isolation of individuals in times of upheaval through the use of setting, dialogue and stage directions.

It is inevitable that if our world is in upheaval, so too are our thoughts likely to be chaotic and turbulent, experiencing concerns and emotions new to us. However, literary worlds often represent how this turbulence can lead to the invigorating of peoples mindset, with the upheaval itself cementing our values and principles. Waiting For Godot represents the chaotic nature of the mind in times of upheaval through its style of absurdism. Mrs. Dalloway demonstrates that in the most dire circumstances one’s values can be cemented and people are able to perform self-reflection. Frankenstein demonstrates that in times of upheaval the principles and values of individuals and communities are cemented and what is of the greatest importance to them is revealed. Therefore, the statement that “it is inevitable that if our world is in upheaval, so too is our mindset” reflects some-what the complexity of the representation of upheavals in the literary worlds of Waiting For Godot, Mrs. Dalloway and Frankenstein.

SOURCE

Read more