Fiction, Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett, Social Constructs, Entropy
This essay aims to explain the breakdown of social constructs through the concept of Entropic Interactionist Theory. EIT argues that it is the nature of creations to be vulnerable to the same forces as their creator, and that social constructions (like identity, for example) are subject to the very same physical forces that give rise to humanity’s creative impulse. At its core, EIT is informed by social constructionism and Nietzschean sociological theory, but it names the second law of thermodynamics and the concept of entropy as the driving force behind societal disintegration. The complication with this theory is that it resists description—many have tried to do so and have been called “dense” and “esoteric.” This essay posits that where EIT makes its plainest demonstration is in fictional literature—where the restrictions of language are loosened a clearer picture of the theory is possible. This essay aims to explain the principles of EIT as they are demonstrated in various works of nonfiction and fiction but focuses on analyzing Samuel Beckett’s 1959 play Waiting for Godot to best illustrate the theory.
Issue and Volume
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
"Entropic Interactionist Theory: Reading Social Constructionism through Thermodynamics and Samuel Beckett,"
Criterion: A Journal of Literary Criticism: Vol. 15:
1, Article 8.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/criterion/vol15/iss1/8