What points of comparison and contrast do we see between "Waiting for Godot" and "Candide"?

Essay by benedictbridgeHigh School, 12th gradeB+, September 2006

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The texts of "Candide" and "Waiting for Godot" do contrast each other in many ways; "Candide's" world is in fact the whole world, whereas in Waiting for Godot the world consists of a small stretch of road by which is a bench and a tree. Therefore one might instantly assume that the two texts, one a novella, and the other a play, are totally different. It is much easier to draw contrasts between the texts than comparisons, but there are some.

The Characterisation in both "Candide" and "Waiting for Godot" is surprisingly similar. The characters of "Candide" and Cacambo in Candide seem to have an almost identical relationship as the one which exists between Vladimir and Estragon. Neither of their relationships is based on friendship, but on differing aspects such as hope, servitude and dependence. But there is an underlying contrast in which we see how "Candide" and Cacambo inevitably get separated at the end of the novella, whereas the relationship between Vladimir and Estragon vacillates frequently, as they go through trials where they fight and reconcile.

Although the other characters seem to bare no further resemblance to any of the characters in Candide. One could maybe draw a comparison between Cunégonde and Godot, as the solution to the main protagonist's problems. But as one can see, Candide gets his, and Vladimir and Estragon clearly don't.

Further comparisons can be drawn from the themes of both texts, these being hope, existence and the existence of a god. Vladimir and estragon are suffering, and essentially, they are waiting for hope, which will hopefully come in the form of "Godot". The theme of hopelessness is set very early on in the play when Estragon states, "nothing to be done", here he was referring to his boot, but essentially it sets the...