Aggressive And Witty Essay, Research Paper
Aggressive and Witty
Margaret Edson’s play W;t tells a compelling story of Dr. Vivian Bearing who is the main character. She is a renowned professor of seventeenth-century poetry, specializing in the Holy Sonnets by John Donne. Ms. Bearing is diagnosed with deadly ovarian cancer that will eventually take her life. After she is diagnosed she approaches her illness aggressively as she approaches Donne, and she must now become the student instead of the teacher. She is determined to survive, but in the opening scene she says, it is not my intention to give away the plot; I think I die at the end (6).
Her approach to her illness is not unlike her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing and intensely rational. After she learns that she will not live long she comes to terms with her condition and even finds it humorous. She is a person who lives by her wits, and has spent an entire career dissecting Donne s Holy Sonnets, as she is trying to dissect her cancer. She tries to understand everything about the cancer. She has agreed to undergo an experimental chemotherapy treatment to rid her body of cancer. This is a grueling eight-stage process that most people could not withstand, but Jason thinks that she is strong enough to go through all eight of the full doses of chemotherapy. The understanding of her illness, her treatment, and her life lead her to become the student instead of the teacher.
Now Dr. Bearing has become the student as she becomes a helpless patient and Jason the teacher as he becomes her doctor. Jason was Dr. Bearing s student back in college. The roles have now been changed. She first becomes the student when she receives a pelvic exam by Jason. She feels embarrassed and humiliated. Then she learns medical terms to understand her illness and to know what the doctors were talking about. Jason brings the same clinical approach to cancer that Dr. Bearing does to poetry. Like Vivian, he pours all his passion into his work.
After being diagnosed with cancer she approaches her illness aggressively as she approaches Donne, and she must now become the student instead of the teacher. In a hope that the experimental chemotherapy will work, Vivian looks at life in a different way. She learns to live life to the fullest one must learn to appreciate the simple things. When the pain from the treatment got to be unbearable her body give out. In the very last scene she drops her gown and goes toward the bright light, but is Death the way Donne portrayed it to be in his Holy Sonnets?