Alive or living?

For my A level English literature and language exam we studied Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot. We studied both characters and themes and in particular the theme of existentialism as it is runs all the way through Beckett’s theatre of the Absurd style play that mock the idea of religion and questions what being alive is, by making the audience question whether the characters are actually alive. Consequently Beckett makes the audience question what the idea of ‘living’ is and what the meaning of life is.


Whilst studying the play there were a lot of questions about life asked. Above all the question that really got me thinking was “what is the difference between being alive and living?”.

After thinking about it and having discussions with my English classmates I realised that for me there are several major differences between being alive and living. In my opinion being alive is simple, it’s the biological things that make us ‘alive’ such as growth, respiration, organ functions and movement. Therefore for me this may suggest that people in commas are ‘alive’ but may not necessarily be living.

On the other hand I think the term ‘living’ is what makes our lives fulfilling and therefore includes individual motives including our emotions, traditions,  activities and relationships that make us who we are. I think to truly ‘live your life’ you need to do what makes you happy, for me THAT is what ‘living’ really means. For this reason I will do everything I can in my life to make it memorable and fulfilling.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget… do what makes you happy.



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