Kate Chopin's the Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview
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cigar. He waits and takes his first puff, and then as he exhales the smoke,

LÉONCE: Yes, dear. Just as soon as I finish my smoke.

The final image of this scene is the thin smoke as it dissolves in the night air.

Scene 5. Past time: Winter. Edna visits Adèle in town.

This scene begins in the front hall of the Pontellier's New Orleans residence. Léonce is preparing to leave, carefully adjusting his hat in front of the mirror stand, selecting a walking stick, tucking a portfolio under his arm. The camera comes in close as he opens the door to the veranda.

Then the shot dissolves into an image of Edna's hand on the banister of the wide, curving hall stairway. As Edna descends the stairs, the viewer glimpses the furnishings. They reflect Léonce's monied position and his French taste. There are plush, deeply dyed fabrics on the sofas and chairs, heavy Oriental carpets, dark carved wood trims, large ferns, tall urns, and a wall of gilt-framed paintings. When Edna reaches the bottom of the stairs, the camera follows her onto the veranda.

The shot changes: Edna and Léonce stand together on the veranda. They are viewed from a curbside vantage point. A portion of the waiting carriage can be seen in the frame.

LÉONCE: Care to meet me in town, Edna? I've decided to improve the library. (He waits for her to answer.) What do you think of the new gasoliers? I hear the Belthrops have placed an order.

EDNA: New fixtures, Léonce! You're far too extravagant.

Léonce starts to respond, but then he pauses to give Edna a perfunctory kiss. He strides down to the carriage; his words trail behind him.

LÉONCE: The way to become rich is to make money, my dear Edna, not to save it. (Pause) And I intend for us to be rich.

Edna waves; she is unsmiling. The camera slides away to a side


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Kate Chopin's the Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation
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