Kate Chopin's the Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

Scene 4. Present time: Spring. Edna and Adèle, the waiting.

Adèle's bedroom is viewed as a stage set. The camera is stationary. A suite of eighteenth-century French country furniture fills the bedroom. Spanish religious icons are prominently displayed. Statues of the saints are set in wall niches. It is dusk; the gas lamps give a soft light. Several figures, barely realized, move about the room. Their elongated shadows are reflected on the wall. Adèle lies on the lounge at the foot of the bed. Then she half sits up, with her head supported by many pillows. Edna sits beside her on a small stool. She holds a stereoscope in her lap. A NURSE kneels by the fireplace. This woman, who is black, is dressed traditionally, with a tall tignon (wrapped scarf) on her head. She rises and comes to Adèle's side with a medicine bottle.

ADÈLE: When will the doctor arrive? What time is it? The camera moves close to the hem of Edna's gown. A view-card of the American West has fallen to the carpet. Edna bends down to retrieve the card.


Scene 5. Reverie: Summer. Edna and Robert, The swimming lesson.

The field of the image is the spacious porch of the Lebrun Hotel main house, centering on the French doors of the entrance. Pale green wicker furniture is arranged in formal groupings. Two wicker bird cages hang at each side of the wide doorway. A white crested cockatiel swings in one, and in the other a parrot breaks the silence with an intermittent call. A large Mexican pot is placed to the side, between the door and the broad porch steps. ROBERT LEBRUN, in a white suit, steps out onto the porch. He pauses and lights a cigarette. Robert is a blond good-looking young man, yet he seems ordinary. Both he and the viewer gaze along the porch across to the gallery.

With a quick cut, the camera shoots over Robert's shoulder and locates the retreating figure of Edna. Robert hurries forward, his left side large in the frame. The image changes: Edna and Robert walk together along the gallery as the camera tracks ahead of them.

-33-

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