Emotionally Disconnected

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This is from W;t by Margaret Edson pg 10:

Vivian: So do I.  "Thoroughness"-I always tell my students, but they are constitutionally averse to painstaking work.

Kelekian: Yours, too.

Vivian: Oh, it's worse every year.

At first when I read this I thought, How peculiar...she just found out she has cancer and she's talking about her students?  What's wrong with her?  She's obvioiusly a tough cookie.  But by the time I got to the end of the play I figured out that this scene was Edson's way of showing the audience that Vivian is extremely disconnected from her emotions.  Even in the end, she has a difficult time admitting she's in pain.  We all know that, for the most part, it's ok to admit weakness but she can't do it until she's near death.  This scene is sad, especially considereing what happens to her in the end.  The inability to admit weakness is actually a reoccuring theme in this play.  Jason has a difficult time in the end admitting he didn't follow orders when he attempted to resuscitate Vivian.  Finally he gathered himself enough to admit he "MADE A MISTAKE!" (84). 

Funny little note.  If you have the copy of the play with the old lady on the cover wearing a baseball cap, check out page 67 where they randomly add a new character Ivian.  lol


Greta Carroll said:

You’re right Angela, she is extremely disconnected to her own emotions. She has been trying to drown her loneliness, doubts, and feelings by constantly focusing on Donne’s poetry. She can’t even answer people honestly when they ask how she is, “I don’t know. I am a professor of seventeenth-century poetry, specializing in the Holy Sonnets of John Donne. So I just say, ‘Fine.’ Of course it is not very often that I do feel fine” (Edson 7). It is almost sad that it takes her imminent death to wake her up to reality. But at least in the end she does get it. When her old professor comes to visit her, it’s not Donne she wants to her, but a children’s book. We can hope though, that her death and the chaos surrounding it will at least wake up Jason, who is traveling the same path as she is, even if his is in the medical field.

Ally Hall said:

You're right, Angela. I noticed that even though she's going through cancer treatments and is obviously in serious pain, until she's almost dead, she refuses to admit the pain. She seems to me too proud to admit any kind of weakness. Sometimes, though, I think it's almost a kind of weakness to not be able to admit it, even to yourself, that you might need help.

(And I totally noticed Ivian. haha)

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