Kate Chopin's the Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

the vaguely seen foliage and tall ironwork fence of the yard. Then as Edna walks across the veranda we notice a shuttered window and then a door, which becomes large in the frame. Next we see the interior hallway and the staircase as Edna goes upstairs. The last shot is of Edna as she cautiously pushes a door open. The outlines of her bedroom are barely visible in the dim predawn light.


Scene 7. Reverie within reverie: Winter/Summer. Dream or daydream, Chênière Caminada.

It is early evening. Edna's bedroom is well lit. It is a beautiful room with tasteful furnishings that reflect a subdued Victorian-American mode. The pale yellow-and-pink flower pattern wallpaper is a prominent feature of the room. One of the exceptional pieces of furniture is a chaise of light wood and tailored print fabric that juts out into the room. There are several large mirrors. One hangs over the fireplace. We first take note of Edna as the camera moves back. She leans against a corner of the mantelpiece, wearing a blue peignoir with wide sleeves and loose contours. Her face is turned toward the mirror, and her reflection is distinct, yet her actual image appears blurred as though the reflection is independent of Edna. Throughout this scene unobtrusive piano music is heard [Theodore Von La Hace, "By the Banks of the River"].

The camera angle shifts: Edna languidly walks over to her desk. Seated there, she stares at a blank sheet of paper. Suddenly agitated, she rises and almost knocks over the chair. Going to the balcony door she opens it and glances outside. Nervously Edna pokes her finger through her hair. She turns and paces back and forth in a way that reflects her image at varying angles in the several mirrors.

After a moment Edna returns to the open door and walks out onto the balcony. She leans over the rail. It is very dark, but one can make out the tangled limbs and intertwined vines of the tropical garden below. With great effort Edna reaches for a tree branch and pulls it toward her, leisurely breathing in the scent of blossoms. The sound of the branch snapping back is quite loud.

The shot changes: Edna lies across the top of her bed, her head nestled in the pillows. She idly traces the curving design of the inlaid

-66-

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