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Through the character of Lucky and Pozzo, the theme of oppression and cruelty is made to surface in

Becketts tragi-comedy Waiting for Godot. The relationship between Pozzo and Lucky is reflected in the
physical bond that holds them together- the link of the rope. The relationship between them is that of
slave and master, the dominant and the dominating, though in Act ll it takes on another aspect, that of
the dumb leading the blind. The relationship represents the exploitation that is a feature of social life.

In Act I, Pozzo is shown treating Lucky worse than an animal. Lucky is being driven by means of a rope
passed round his neck. Here Lucky is no better than a beast of burden, and there are sores on his neck.
He is being whipped often. He is essentially the horse pulling Pozzos carriage in a relationship that
seems cruel, domineering, and undesirable, and yet Lucky is strangely sycophantic. Despite his miserable
condition, he does not resist or complain. According to Pozzo, Lucky keeps on holding the luggage all the
time because he does not want to leave Pozzos service; he hopes that his zeal might favourably impress
his master. In explaining Luckys behavior, Pozzo says, Why he doesnt make himself comfortable? Lets
try and get this clear. Has he not the right to? Certainly he has. It follows that he doesnt want to. He
imagines that when I see how well he carries Ill be tempted to keep him on in that capacity. As though
I were short of slaves. Both Pozzo and Lucky represent the two complementary sides of society-
exploiter and exploited. They together make it up. Without Lucky, Pozzo cannot move forward, sit down
to eat, or get up. Lucky cannot move either, except in response to Pozzos shouted orders and whip
cracks. Together they compose a functioning organization.

The relationship between Pozzo and Lucky does not, however, stagnate in act I. The very next day, when
the two appears, the rope between them is significantly shorter so that the now-blind Pozzo may find
his way. In this new situation, it is less clear which character leads the other, or if either one is truly in
control. As the stage directions read, Pozzo is blind Rope as before, but much shorter, so that Pozzo
may follow more easily. Frightened and utterly dependent on his slave, Pozzo is nevertheless the man
who cannot stay in one place. Once the whip-cracking master of men and worldly possessions, Pozzo is
yet unable to give up the myth of action even when his powers fail him. Through blindness he has
entered the shadowy world of indeterminate space and time, a universe which is like nothing. His
sightlessness, as he himself states, is that of Fortune, an absurd blindness. Unlike Tiresias, he does not
possess a third eye which would allow him to look into the future. A grotesque Oedipus at the
crosssroads, led by an idiotic slave, Pozzo, is as cut off from any future as from his past. He does not
recall, having met Estragon and Vladimir before, perhaps because they were of no importance to him
except as a temporary and accidental audience; nor will he remember them the next day.

Pozzo belongs to that class of men who do not learn by suffering. He is an egotist, full of self-love. He is
fond of hearing his own voice and the ready flow of his rhetoric. He is convinced that he owns not only
the land around the road, but the road as well and all the people on it. His stool which Lucky sets up for
him whenever he wishes to rest is a portable throne.

t has often been said that Pozzo and Lucky are one man, that they represent the duality of mind and
body. Estragon and Vladimir have likewise been supposed to represent one man. If these suppositions
are correct, the difference between the two pairs may be noted. The oneness of Pozzo and Lucky is
degrading to both and is indeed shown as profoundly harmful; the connection of the other two is a
warm, life-sustaining relationship. Estragon and Vladimir are aware that one cannot be warm alone. The
situation of Pozzo and Lucky is different. Neither of them is able to help the other in Act II when they fall
down. In fact, when Vladimir attempts to help Pozzo to his feet, he falls next to the blind man, and, in
turn, when Estragon comes to his friends rescue, he is dragged down on the heap on the floor. Thus,
Estragon and Vladimir try to lift up their fellow-man, but if they are unable to do so it is because Pozzo is
beyond human reach. Pozzo manages to extricate himself from the pile and to crawl away. Estragon and
Vladimir lie on the ground, as though forgotten. After a while, however, they manage to rise. Simple,
question of will-power, states Vladimir, unaware that he could not exercise his will-power while Pozzo
was close. Contact with Pozzo has a weakening effect on others. Nothing illustrates so clearly as this
scene the Demoralising and weakening effect of tyrannical rule (Pages 81-86). Once Estragon and
Vladimir have succeeded in shaking off the paralysing influence of the tyrant, they try to help him. By
having him place his arms round their necks, they manage to help him up, but in this position he is only
a deadweight that they are forced to drag.