Kate Chopin's the Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

Edna's painting materials. Small Oriental rugs lie over the floor matting. Just visible in the background is a tiny dining room that looks crowded with a small buffet and table. The camera angle changes to a shot of Edna's narrow, booted feet on the threshold. Then there is a quick cut to Edna's hand as she reaches for a note propped against a framed photograph of herself. Edna's face is dimly reflected in its glass [ Guiraud, "Sylvia"]. The camera moves back to reveal Edna's trancelike motions as she sits on the settee and arranges the pillows against the arm before lying down. This side of the room is shadowy. Her eyes scan the wall and come to rest on a small watercolor. The camera draws close to this seascape until the painting fills the screen. This closeup gives it an appearance of an actual beach. Then the camera shifts slightly to show the frame.


Scene 2. Past time: Summer. Léonce leaves for the city and Edna paints.

This next series of shots begins with a pan of the sandy parkway of the Lebrun\ Hotel. The camera pauses, and a horse's tail flicks across the frame. Then the camera pulls back to the middle distance to reveal two rockaways in front of the porch, one in front of the other. The driver of one hoists several brocaded bags to the luggage rack. The camera pulls back even further. Guests lounge on the porch or stand by the rail. The clink and murmur of a meal being cleared drift out to the parkway. Adèle stands with Alphonse at the top of the porch stairs. She holds her youngest child snugly in her arms. Alphonse bends over them and pumps the toddler's tiny arm. Now the shot changes to a view of Léonce pacing up the parkway, with Raoul and Etienne tumbling about him. The nurse follows in the background. As the camera turns to face the scene in front of the porch, they stop in front of the second rockaway. The first has already boarded passengers.

RAOUL: This time don't forget the caramels.

ETIENNE: From Boule's. You promised.

LÉONCE: (He kisses each child.) Yes, yes. Be good boys while I'm gone.

-50-

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