The Digression of Vivian’s Power within Wit 12th Grade

The play Wit by Margaret Edson addresses one of the most challenging topics that mankind is forced to grapple with: death. For Vivian Bearing though, death had always been more of a subject to study rather than one to face. Death in Vivian’s experience is a tool to teach with, an inevitable end of life not to be feared and as she will find out through her own experience, a force that will totally alter the way social status is perceived. Edson addresses Vivian’s passing through the use of intertextual references in order to align Vivian’s experience to her studies in poetry, and give her play an extra dimension for the audience to explore.

Vivian Bearing’s disease first begins to take major tolls when she signs the informed consent form, for at this moment she is forced to recognize that her fate is no longer her own. Similarly to Donne’s “Holy Sonnet 6”, Vivian has been forced to come to the understanding that her life is quickly fleeting as a result of being diagnosed with terminal cancer. This first stage of Vivian’s treatment represents a coming to terms with her future. Coming to terms with the fact that “This is [her] playes last scene, here heavens appoint / [Her] pilgrimages last mile, and [her] race / Idly, yet quickly...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 944 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7601 literature essays, 2153 sample college application essays, 318 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in