Kate Chopin's the Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

Scene 5. Reverie: Summer's end.

A new shot: the screen is divided between sea and beach. A beautiful summer sky of pale blue, floating clouds, and blazing sun presents a leisurely aura. In the middle distance Edna cavorts in the shallows with Raoul and Etienne. There are only a few others on the shore. We hear the sounds of the sea and the playful shouts of the two boys. With an affectionate gesture, Edna waves them to shore. At first they protest, but Edna insists. At the water's edge the nurse waits with their robes folded in her arms. Ill-humoredly the two little boys dawdle to shore.

The camera comes closer to Edna as she gracefully turns and trails her fingers in the surf. Edna walks to a deeper spot and plunges forward. She swims steadily in the center of the frame for a long moment before the shot fades.

The camera begins a lateral movement across the shore to the bathhouses, then to the path, where Mlle Reisz stands at its entrance. She stares out to sea. Then Edna enters the frame from the left. She wears a daygown, her face is flushed, and her hair is damp.

She looks happy.

MLLE REISZ: Here comes our beautiful sea creature.

EDNA: Hello.

MLLE REISZ: You've the knack well, Madame Pontellier.

The two face each other, turn, and enter the path together.

EDNA: Thank you, Madame. It is my one pleasure.

In a reverse traveling shot, from a further distance than the previous journeys along the path, the camera leads as the two wend their slow way back to the hotel. They are congenial together. Mademoiselle offers Edna a chocolate from her sack.

MLLE REISZ: Do you miss your friend?

EDNA: Yes. Don't we all?

MLLE REISZ: He is the only Lebrun worth troubling about. I've known Robert since he was a boy. He used to find his way to my poor studio.

EDNA: Robert?

-85-

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