Happy Days: Life Is Absurd

             Happy Days is not a happy play as the title said. For the first time reading it, I barely know what the play is about. It seems unreal and absurd. Then I read it for the second time, and I start to ‘steep’ into the story deeply.  Although there are a lot of unanswered questions and weird terms, I understand why this absurdity of the play can catch audience’ attention.

The absurd setting of the play grab my attention since the beginning of the play. Winnie, the protagonist, whose half body covered by mound in the middle of nowhere seems so happy with all stuff around the mound. In addition, there is also a hole where her husband, Willie, lives below her. There is no certain indicator when the night and day began or end because the sun never stops shining. It has to have meaning, of course. In my opinion, the mound that bury Winnie signifies Winnie’s age or her coming death. Winnie is 50 years old, so it can be concluded that she is in half of her life. That is why the mound imbedded up to her waist. Then in Act 2, the mound imbedded her until her neck. Make her difficult to grab something even to turn her head. Again, it signifies death. Winnie’s end life. Ironically, she distracts herself from it by talking to herself and her husband.

At the first reading the play, Winnie sounds like jabbering meaningless words. She repeats the same phrase and doing the same actions as she had done before. It looks boring and tiring. However, at the second reading, I began to understand those repetitions is something humans always doing. Humans do routine activity each day and end it until their death come same as Winnie.

Winnie’s dominance in the play also represents that humans often isolate themselves and trapped in their own mind without considering others. Winnie takes Willie’s presence for granted and let herself talk and do anything she likes. She even loves the way Willie response her indifferently. This often happened with humans, especially in this modern era. Many humans take someone for granted, and then begin to appreciate someone when they lost him or her. Similary,Winnie does the same thing to Willie until Willie disappear, and she yearns him so bad.

In terms of marriage, Winnie and Willie portrays an absurd household, which survived for many years. At first, it sounds illogical and does not make sense. In fact, this kind of marriage happens in real life. My parents, for example, still survive although their significant differences and many tempest which has blown their marriage.

All in all, Happy Days is a play which tries to picture humans’ absurdity by seeing humans is pessimistic perspective. This is a comedy with many tragic situations and confusion combined in the play. Inevitably, this play succeeds to shock its audience that humans’ life is absurd.


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