Study Guide

Happy Days Perseverance

By Samuel Beckett

Perseverance

We can all agree that, no matter what our perfect "happy day" might be, we would all like our days to pass with a sizable amount of ease and relaxation. We never want to have to try very hard to be happy, but in Happy Days, both Winnie and Willie require a lot of perseverance to make it through the day. In this barren wasteland where the challenges are more mental than physical, we wonder what reasons do they have for carrying on. What keeps them going? Especially when there's a revolver named Brownie right at the top of Winnie's bag.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. Taking into account that Winnie and Willie have to struggle throughout the entire play, what does it say about Beckett's thoughts on the value of endurance?
  2. Who is best at pushing through the tough circumstances they face, Winnie or Willie? And how do they differ in how they manage the situation?
  3. Nothing actively changes their situation. Winnie and Willie do not travel. They do not encounter anyone else over the course of the play. What is there to be said about the fact that they are striving for nothing, for a world that is no more?
  4. How much is Winnie and Willie's perseverance in the life they currently lead a copout for changing their lives for the better?

Chew on This

Winnie's and Willie's situations have the potential to be altered. There is no need to persevere through the hardships they face.

The world that Winnie lives in is a fantasy, without it she wouldn't find the strength to continue.

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