Happy Days

EPUB EBook by Samuel Beckett

EBook Description

At the start of Happy Days, we see Winnie - EPUB a plump, fifty-year-old housewife of a woman – buried to her waist in the centre of a mound of earth. Happy Days EPUB EBookThe sun blazes down in the form of a powerful spotlight.A barren landscape stretches into the distance.Beside Minnie on the mound are a large bag and a parasol.Throughout the play, she removes items from the bag, including a Browning automatic revolver (‘Brownie’) and a toothbrush.Halfway through the first of two short acts the parasol bursts into flames from the unrelenting heat.At the start of the play she seems to be alone, but soon we see that there is a man (Willie) on the far side of the mound, reading a newspaper, though we see only the back of his head for the whole of the first act.He only crawls over the mound to face Winnie in a dramatic and moving scene at the end of the play, when she is buried to her neck in the mound.Winnie does most of the talking, addressing many of her comments to Willie, and he responds only occasionally and briefly.When she seems to be nodding off at times she is brought awake again by an unseen bell.

At a first reading this play, like all of Beckett’s plays, leaves you with a vague sense of depression and incomprehension, though you do also feel a sense of achievement in having got through it from beginning to end and of having read something worthwhile.Subsequent readings throw up all sorts of allusions and echoes that completely escaped you the first time, and if you then (and only then) read a guide to the play you recognise it for the masterpiece it is: a highly-polished jewel, a starkly concentrated appraisal of the human condition packed into two short acts, that lesser writers would and do take volumes to laboriously spell out.Despite seeming a rambling, knocked-off-in-ten-minutes affair, it is in fact a highly sophisticated interplay of repetition and variation with leitmotifs, silence and precise movements that are all indicated in the meticulous stage directions, and is almost operatic in its effect.

Beckett is never patronising, he leaves you (perhaps somewhat dismissively) to work out for yourself what it is all about.Scratch the surface and you will find allusions to Zeno, Shakespeare, Aristotle, the Anglican Liturgy and Holy Communion and Dante, as well as The Merry Widow.You may see it, with A. Alvarez, as ‘a sour view of a cosy marriage’, or agree with The Times that ‘the text is an elaborate structure of internal harmonies with recurring cliché download; s twisted into bitter truths, and key phrases chiming ironically through the development as in a passacaglia’.For me, it is all of these things, but perhaps most of all it is a comment on ageing, loneliness and loss.It will haunt all who see it or read it.
Like this book? Read online this: The hypocrites, a play in four acts, Uncle Wiggily's Happy Days.

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