Kate Chopin's The Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

makes her way in the darkness. In the foyer her image is reflected in the hall mirror. We may notice that the mantel clock is no longer there. The camera follows her out through the vestibule. The image fades.


Scene 9. Past time: Winter. Edna paints the Colonel's portrait.

This series of shots begins with a view of Edna's atelier. No one is there. The room is just as before. Edna's paints and brushes are arranged on the oak table, and there is a sketch set up on the easel. Soon we hear voices from the hall, and the door is pushed open. Edna's father, the Colonel, and Edna enter, as she exclaims in annoyance:

EDNA: You promised not to ask me again.

The Colonel assumes a pose on the stool that accentuates his military bearing. Edna mixes the paints, and then she opens her collar.

THE COLONEL: It's cold in here. EDNA: (She starts to draw.) I hope you will like this.

Now the camera passes across a section of the floor to the door. Raoul and Etienne have crouched low in the hall and peek inside. The camera changes angle to show that Edna still concentrates on her work but that the Colonel has noticed the boys. So as not to disturb his pose, he makes a "kicking" motion with his foot in the direction of the door. With loud shushes the two boys scamper off.

It becomes quiet in the atelier. The camera draws a little closer to Edna as she paints. Her attitude is assured, and her use of the brush is deft. Now the image changes to a shot of the sun as it streams through one of the tall narrow windows. Then the camera returns to Edna. The Colonel's portrait is further developed; the depiction of his posture is much more relaxed than his actual pose. In a moment Edna speaks:

EDNA: What time is it?

THE COLONEL: (Studies his pocket watch) Ten to noon.

-73-

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