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Critical Review Of Wit By Margaret Edson

1319 words - 6 pages

Wit is a potent and emotional play that chronicles the last few months of Vivian’s life. With Vivian’s cancer as the main theme, Wit effectively shows the gradual change of Vivian’s attitude towards cancer and the inhuman treatments from doctors. Wit narrates a story of Vivian Bearing, an accomplished English literature professor who is diagnosed with metastatic ovarian cancer. However, in order to complete a research, her doctor, Harvey Kalekian gives Vivian eight months of experimental chemotherapy without clearly explaining the treatments and serious side effects. In addition, Kelekian’s fellow, Jason, as a former student of Dr. Bearing, shows no respect to Vivian. Jason does not consider ...view middle of the document...

She barely socializes with other people and are always strict with her students. She is really confident of her academia and work. “After twenty years, I can say with confidence, no one is quite as good as I” (Edson 20). Vivian likes hard things and think she can always defeat them. She cares a lot about herself but does not care much for others. Even if one student came to ask for a paper extension because of his grandmother’s death, Vivian Bearing did not allow the extension, saying “Do what you will, but the paper is due when it is due” (Edson 63). Her strong and tough characteristic let her believes at first that she can control cancer. When Kelekian asks Vivian that “You must be very tough. Do you think you can be very tough?” (Edson 12) Vivian replies that “You needn’t worry” (Edson 12). She accepts the full dose of chemotherapy even if she knows the treatment is mainly for experiment and have serious side effects. Vivian shows great confidence that she can be cured. “Must get some books, articles. Assemble a bibliography” (Edson 8). She tries to be familiar to cancer and prepare to accept treatments. In this period, Vivian is positive and believes she and be alive.
As time goes by, Vivian’s health becomes worse and worse. Her previous confidence seems to collapse. She realizes that it is impossible to defeat cancer and she may die soon. Vivian now is scared, she finds that even if she is successful and tough in academic field she still cannot escape from death. Vivian said “Hard things are what I like best” (Edson 65). However Susie tells that “It’s not the same. It’s like it’s out of control, isn’t it?” (Edson 65). At the beginning, Vivian was confident and prepared to beat cancer. She said “oh, yes I used to feel sure” (Edson 65).
Then Vivian’s attitude changed: “I don’t feel sure of myself anymore. (Edson 65).
She is scared and trying to hide away. “Oh, God. I want… I want… No. I want to hide. I just want to curl up in a little ball” (Edson, 70). She now completely gives up to fight against cancer even dare to face her death. In addition, in the last few cycles, Vivian becomes vulnerable. She now is a helpless patient other than a superior professor. She even cannot believe that she accepts some “corny” works like “sweetheart” and “popsicles” (Edson69). She is look forward to kinedess. “Now is a time for simplicity. Now is a time for, dare I say it, kindness” (Edson 69). Vivian was a rigid and dogmatic person. She even does not permit an extension for students. However, she is trying to change and to be kindness. Vivian’s steadfast attitude about life at the beginning of the paly and the uncertainty now is a huge antithesis.
The play “wit” introduces an interesting plot of Vivian discussing her essay with her mentor, E.M Ashford. At...

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