Kate Chopin's The Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

From over his shoulder we see him raise the card until it fills the frame. As he opens and lowers the card, the view that it had obscured--the garden, seen from an open window--fills the screen. Now there is only the garden through the window. The sun shimmers, and tall gladiola gently sway. Offscreen a solitary bird chirps.


Scene 2. Present time: Spring. Edna comforts Adèle.

A dissolve to rippling water fills the screen. A woman's face is dimly reflected in its gentle motion. A sudden splash disturbs the image, and then the strong, shapely hands of EDNA PONTELLIER wring a white cloth. The camera moves back just enough to disclose the rippling water in a basin on a dry sink. Edna's bending figure straightens up. She sprinkles the cloth with cologne. Scattered on the pale marble counter are several cologne bottles, a brush-and-comb set, and a pair of jet earrings.

From a low tilt across a white coverlet, the camera focuses on the turning figure of Edna. She is in her late twenties, tall, with an aristocratic demeanor. Her features are unremarkable; yet when considered as a whole, they comprise a beauty that is arresting. The collar of her beige gown is open, and the lavender belt is loosely wrapped. It is warm in the room. Edna lightly kneads her neck.

Now a low hum of a haunting melody is heard [Kay Gardner, "Mooncircles"]. The camera turns to the head of the bed and stops on ADÈLE RATIGNOLLE, who is restlessly posed there. Adèle's romantic beauty is dimmed by the onset of labor. Her thick blond hair is coiled on the pillow. The camera pulls back and up as Edna places the cooling cloth on her friend's brow. As Adèle slides the fingers of one hand over the coverlet, she looks up at Edna, who brings her arm to rest on the ornately carved headboard. Edna slowly turns her head and gazes into the camera.


Scene 3. Reverie: Summer. The sewing lesson.

The Lebrun Hotel on Grand Isle includes a main house and twelve frame cottages. A covered gallery connecting the buildings is, like

-30-

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