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Analysis of Wit

  • Date Submitted: 07/11/2010 06:27 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53 
  • Words: 349
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JanaLee Outhenthapanya
Haeberle
Dramatic Production Response
Wit
Staring- Emma Thompson
I thought that Wit was a poignant story that reflected the need for human kindness in all aspects of life- whether a rigorous academic setting or in the pan of the suffering body and heart. The way Margaret Edson approached the subject matter- terminal cancer- was uniquely appealing to me as a healthcare professional. Illness, loss and death are difficult matters for an individual to face alone, and although Ms. Bearing made a valiant effort to manage the circumstances intellectually and with wit, she ultimately found that the suggestions of her mentor: “don’t go back to the library- go out!” was a valid metaphor for life.
Through the show, I enjoyed trying to decide who or what the playwright intended to be interpreted as the antagonist. Did she intend the “insidious cancer with the pernicious side effects” to be seen as the fatal, evil influence of the story? Perhaps not, for death- little “d”- she explained to be followed by a comma, a breath. Not a means to an end, but a means to another beginning. The argument could certainly be made that the detached, relentless doctors who were more intent on the research than the human cost were the villains of the story. But on the other, Ms. Bearing describes her own self with “uncompromising scholarly standards,” and demonstrates a cool commitment to the contribution of knowledge with very little show of emotion- and in that way acts as both antagonist and protagonist to the story. In my opinion, the battle distilled to only Ms. Bearing and her loneliness in the end.
At one point Vivian Bearing explains. “My only defense is the acquisition of vocabulary.” This statement illustrates her perception of knowledge as a great weapon, but as her journey progresses she admits that it is “the touch of human kindness she now seeks,” and that “now is the time for simplicity.” A touching sentiment form a great scholar who finally...

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