A Powerful Opening

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"I have been asked 'How are you feeling today?' while I was throwing up into a plastic washbasin. I have been asked as I was emerging from as four hour operation with a tube in every orfice, 'How are you feeling today?'
I am waiting for the moment when someone asks me this question and I am dead. I'm a little sorry I'll miss that." (Edson 5)

This was a really powerful beginning. Vivian took a simple greeting and showed how her doctors offered it without hesitation or thought to her situation. I wonder how often this really happens to people who are in Vivian's situation. I especially thought the last two lines of this quote were very powerful because they not only showed some sarcasm but also Vivian's disgust with how the doctors' and other hospital workers ask inappropriate questions when her feelings about the situation are obvious.

This part reminded me of when I was helping to make cards for a friend that had cancer at school. We were told we couldn't write anything like "Hope you feel better soon" or "Get well soon" because she was terminally ill. She wasn't going to feel better or get well soon. All we could write about was how we supported and cared about her. I think this is similar to Vivian's complaint about the "How are you feeling today?". Its obvious that at the moments she is being asked this she is in pain or sick, so why would the doctors even bother asking her that? Even simple phrases such as "Get well soon" or "How are you feeling" can be harmful when used in the wrong situation.

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2 Comments

Maddie Gillespie said:

Katie made an interesting comment on her blog about “W;t” having an exceptionally powerful opening. She wrote about the fact that Vivian made it a point of telling the reading about the numerous times that she was asked how she was feeling at a particular time when she obviously felt unwell. She went on to relate a personal story of when she came to recognize the fact that simply wishing someone to “Get well soon,” or “How are you feeling?” could be detrimental to their mental health in the wrong situation. As I was reading Katie’s blog, I remembered the last scene in the play where Jason comes in to check on Vivian for the very last time; finding her dead he immediately calls for a code team to try and revive her. When I looked over the dialogue in the beginning of this scene, I found it rather ironic that Jason says, “Professor Bearing. How are you feeling today?...” So you see? Someone really did ask her that while she was dead. I’m sure she was a little sorry that she missed it, but she was probably even more grateful that the pain had ended. Great blog!

Maddie Gillespie said:

You were right about a powerful opening to this play. I found it rather ironic that Vivian said that someone would probably ask her how she was feeling when she was dead, and she was exactly right! Jason comes in the morning he discovers her dead, but just before he realizes that, he says, "Professor Bearing. How are you feeling today?..." Wonderful isn't it. You also retold a powerful personal story here too. Great job! It really allows your reader to put things in perspective. Great blog and good job.

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