Commas in Wit

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"Nothing but a breath--a comma--separates life from life everlasting.  It is very simple really.  With the original punctuation restored, death is no longer something to act out on a stage, with exclamation points.  It's a comma, a pause."

-From pages 14 and 15 of Margaret Edson's Wit

This entire passage reminded me of many of Lynne Truss' comments in Eats, Shoots & Leaves.  Truss constantly pointed out the importance of proper placement of commas, and any punctuation for that matter.  Similarly, Edson's character Vivian's professor comments on how only a comma can be the determining factor in the entire meaning of Donne's Holy Sonnet Six.  I think that it is very creative how Edson relates this sonnet and the study of Donne to Vivian's situation.  I love how she uses this scene to highlight Vivian's misunderstanding of her own involvement in society.  Basically, her professor tells her that one seemingly insignificant action, such as actually trying to talk to someone about something besides Donne, could help her to learn more about life and, eventually, death.  Edson continues to explore Vivian's loneliness in this and other creative ways throughout the rest of the play. 

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