Kate Chopin's the Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

The camera pulls back as Dr. Mandelet rises and goes to a wall cabinet in the background of the frame. He removes a decanter and two glasses, then pours a sherry for himself and Léonce. Each man takes a sip.

DR. MANDELET: (He stays by the cabinet.) Perhaps, Léonce, you should let your wife alone for a time. (Pause) Woman, my dear friend, is a very peculiar and delicate organism.

LÉONCE: But I don't bother her now. And the boys are at my mother's. She takes a delight in showing them the country pleasures of my own boyhood.

DR. MANDELET: (Long pause) Why don't I pay Madame Pontellier a call?

The camera moves to a slightly different angle, as Léonce rises, walks to the door, and looks out. He then turns back into the study, hesitates, and says:

LÉONCE: One more thing. I have to go to New York on business for a few weeks. Edna refuses to come. She puts me off with excuses about her painting. Painting! I (He steps outside.) tell you (Pause), it's devilishly uncomfortable.

The image changes. Now Dr. Mandelet stands at Léonce's diagonal by the half-open door. His hands are in his pockets.

DR. MANDELET: Surely, this is a passing whim of hers. We doctors are familiar with these cases. Give it time, Léonce, give it time.

Now the doctor is alone on the screen [ Antonín Dvořák, Symphony No. 9 (Largo)]. He stands in profile with a serious expression, as Léonce's steps resound on the brick walk and then fade away.


Scene 2. Present time: Spring. The journey--another facet.

A new shot: Edna waits in front of a commercial carriage on a French Quarter street. She wears a pale yellow gown and carries her gloves. A yellow velvet rose is attached to her small lavender cloche. It is very early morning, after the "long night." There are only one or two other people about. The camera is stationary, and at a distance,

-80-

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