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May 5, 2007

Hiding Behind W;t

Wit -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

Student 2: I think he's hiding. I think he's really confused, I don't know, maybe he's scared, so he hides behind all this complicated stuff, hides behind this wit.

This student, although the brilliance is brief and revealed in reference to Donne, has really just uncovered Vivian's secret. I think that is what she was doing throughout a good portion of her life. Yes, she achieved great things, yes she was a brilliant professor, yes she was strong and has a lot of personality. But, she is hiding a lot of that personality underneath her wit and intelligence. I wonder what it is that she might be afraid of, or what she might be confused about. But, it almost reminds me of Everyman, she cannot take her wit and brilliance with her to death, and she has guarded herself against love and affection for so long, she is left lonely during these 8 months of intense struggle. It is really moving, and being a witness to that struggle as a reader, makes me wish I could be there to be that person to care about her, as much as she might deny her need for it. It just makes me want to shout out "I'm here!...I care about you!" as I read it. Edson did a great job of making me care about the character.

This play was wonderfully simple, and yet so complex - the perfect composition for portraying the ideas that this student speaks about in the scene from which the above quotation came from.

I also think the fact that there is no intermission is significant. It doesn't really need one, being such a short and simple play. But, more than that, life has no intermission (please forgive the cliché). You can't just say, stop, this is too much, let's take a break for a bit. The world never stops, it keeps on turning and we are left to do with each minute what we will, cope any way we can without being at the same time destructive.

As Maggie said on her blog, a very good read, thanks Dr. Jerz, for saving the best for last.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at May 5, 2007 9:41 AM


I was just thinking that, that there are similarities to Everyman in that Knowledge can't go on the journey with Everyman.
I agree with you about how the play doesn't really need an intermission because, like Everyman, it's just one long journey straight through to the end. Margaret Edson also said in an interview that she thought if there were an intermission people would leave because the middle's so hard to deal with. Here's the interview: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/jan-june99/edson_4-14.html
I do agree that it would be hard to take a pit stop in the middle of such a painful journey and then have to jump back in.

Posted by: Matt Henderson at May 5, 2007 10:23 AM

Thanks for the link Matt!

Posted by: Lorin at May 7, 2007 10:10 AM

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