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April 23, 2004

W;t and awkwardness

There's an awkwardness I didn't expect lodged within the pages of "W;t" by Margaret Edson.

Page 21 Dr. Jason Posner, M.D. is introduced and we find he is a former student of Vivian Bearing, the cancer patient. He got an A in her class, but only an A- he recalls. To herself, Vivian wishes she would've given him an A (p. 29).

Why would she now wish she'd given Jason an A? I can only think that perhaps it has something to do with the humiliation of having a former student give her a pelvic examination. Does she wish that she'd given him an A because she wants him to be kind? wants him to be gentle? wants him to be happy?

What makes Vivian regret not having given him an A for her class?
The awkwardness of her lessons in suffering (p. 31-32)?

Posted by KarissaKilgore at April 23, 2004 9:51 AM


Lots of questions, I get that too. As I intimated in my blog, I just didn't know when to let loose. I felt uncomfortable while reading it. I wonder if an audience member would feel the same way?

Posted by: Amanda at April 23, 2004 3:23 PM

I imagine so. Since I tend to have a distinctive "laugh outloud," I think I'd have to pause and listen to see if anyone else laughed before letting a chuckle escape, since the wit is interpreted differently to me...

I'm just unsure why she would've regretted not giving him an A. Do teachers do that??

Posted by: Karissa at April 24, 2004 12:06 AM

Hey Karissa,
I was also wondering why she regretted not giving her former student an A. I was thinking her former student would treat her like an "A-" patient instead of an "A" patient.

Posted by: Michael Diezmos at April 24, 2004 3:03 PM

In my opinion, I believe the reason why she regrets that she did not give Jason an A in her class rather than a A- is because of a few reasons:

1. He is taking care of every little problem with her body. She is going through a hard time right now with the cancer treatments and there is no way to ever thank him for everything he has been doing for her.

2. He is a brainiac student. Look how successful he has become after taking med school. I think Vivian can see that even being a med student, he worked extremely hard in her class and many of her students including the one incident on pgs. 59-63 made fun of her teaching, because she was so strict.

He had to take her classes because it was a fullfillment (like our core classes). He also mentions frequently how her class was tough, but he learned a lot. He even created little rhythmic words to help by pass the hard lectures of her class, Pg. 75-76

"The Holy Sonnets we worked on most, they were mostly about Salvation Anxiety. That's a term I made up in one of my papers, but I think it fits it pretty well."

Posted by: Firefighter Chica at April 26, 2004 11:49 AM

Feel free to comment on my opinion of Wit on my blog :)

Posted by: Firefighter Chica at April 26, 2004 4:27 PM

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