Kate Chopin's the Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

This next series of shots is of the three at lunch, which is rather formal. The tone is a static, evenly paced sequence of fragmented shots of the serving, eating, and conversation. The first shot is of Alphonse, with his soup spoon held aloft, as he stares at Edna. The maid will serve the course and stand by.

ALPHONSE: You're not looking as well as usual.

EDNA: I feel quite well. In fact, I feel very well.

Adèle nods affirmatively as Alphonse continues:

ALPHONSE: Just the same, I am going to prepare a tonic for you, and I will not let you leave without it.

It is quiet for a moment. Edna does not seem interested in the lunch. She makes stilted motions with the food while she studies Adèle and Alphonse. They continue with an animated conversation. The next course is served.

ALPHONSE: Is Mr. Pontellier still planning to go to New York? Business improves every day! (He pauses to take a bite.) I told Adèle that Mayor Shakspeare is as good as his word.

ADÈLE: For once!

ALPHONSE: It takes time. This new crowd has the right idea. This filet is excellent, Adèle. Edna, try some more. The talk is that there's a move under way to circulate another petition against the lottery. About time!

ADÈLE: Ah, those ruffians. What would they do for mischief without the lottery?

At these words the camera pulls back in a steady trajectory through the rooms of the Ratignolle apartment, out through the vestibule, and then fades. Simultaneously the muffled voices of Adèle and Alphonse are heard from a distance.


Scene 6. Present time: Spring. Edna at the Pontellier house.

During this scene the camera tracks Edna as she returns to the Pontellier house. It is dusky and silent. Edna walks into the frame wearing the costume of the "long night." As she turns a corner there is

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