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Compare and Contrast of Vladimir, Bernada, and Gayev seen through the Shattering of Illusion.

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Matthew Swenson I.B. English World Lit. 20/April/2002 Compare and Contrast of Vladimir, Bernada, and Gayev Seen through the Shattering of Illusion Horizon of Illusion, Sunrise of Reality Reality and illusion, two separate worlds bound together in the eyes of human beings. As people, we use this illusion to blanket our reality, cover it from the darkness of the truth, to deny anything that might oppose our principles, thus securing our lives by blocking out what we fear. However, when lifting this blanket of illusion from our eyes, we see our true unmasked humanity. The plays, Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett, The House of Bernada Alba, by Lorca, and The Cherry Orchard, by Anton Chekhov, all show that through the shattering of one's illusion, the true essence of one's soul is revealed. Samuel Beckett's, Waiting for Godot focuses on two men, Vladimir and Estragon, sharing the same illusion that a man named Godot will arrive to meet them. They wait with each other, talking continuously about anything that will aid them in "passing the time."(Beckett 29) Even when a new character, Pozzo, is presented to them, they dismiss his following exit with the phrase, "That passed the time"(Beckett 29) ...read more.


It is Bernarda's illusion and denial of reality which were the stones that killed Adel. Now with her daughter dead, Bernarda is forced to come face to face with reality. In response to this shattering of illusion, she answers in silence. Her silence presents an eerie atmosphere within the setting, as it is the first time Bernada has nothing to say, to answer for her guilt. Her illusion has shattered and the essence of Bernada's soul is shown simply by the emptiness of silence. Without her illusion she is weak, cold, and empty. And with this emptiness, she tries once again to regain her illusion and refill her empty heart with the denial of reality and the grips of authority. She alters her reality by denying the truth, and stating that her "daughter died a virgin...No one will say anything about this! She died a virgin... And I want no weeping. Death must be looked at face to face...silence, silence, I said. Silence!"(Lorca 211) The illusion and denial that killed Adel is now becoming alive again. Bernada uses the blanket of illusion to cover her daughter's death and deny the current reality. In The Cherry Orchard, Gayev also follows the same pattern of denial and shattering of illusion. ...read more.


With this, he is able to accept reality and discard his former illusion. These three characters have all been under the grip of illusion's vice, and through the shattering of this grip, do we see their soul under the light of reality. We all have experienced the tension between reality and illusion. What makes us who we are as human beings, is made up of the mixing of these two elements. Like Vladimir and Bernada, we have all tried clinging on to a lost hope, or have denied an experience that has hurt us. We sometimes say that reality is too harsh for anyone to face. However Gayev proves to us that looking into the face of reality does not necessarily mean that one must only see the darkness of the truth, but the purity of the truth is also to be seen. We need illusion at times to guard us from emotional hurt and secure our spirit with a wall of denial. However one must remember that the wall of illusion is not indestructible. If one relies on this wall too much, they're spirit can also break with it. At some point, the wall will fall at the grounds of reality. At this time we will see the essence that we possess. Only when our illusions shatter can we see our humanism in the mirror of reality. ...read more.

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