Kate Chopin's the Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

MLLE REISZ: Of course! He's not one to forget an old woman. And you, madame, will you come to see me in the city?

EDNA: I will surprise you. (Long pause) When do you leave?

MLLE REISZ: Next Monday. And you?

The shot changes. Both women are in front of Mlle Reisz's cottage. Edna stands with a foot on the bottom step and her hand on the newel post while the musician climbs the steps to the porch.

EDNA: It has been a pleasant summer, hasn't it, mademoiselle?


Scene 6. Past time: Winter. Edna and Léonce at dinner.

A new shot: of the interior vestibule door of the Pontellier house from the hall. It is evening, and the house is well illuminated. Through the frosted and clear glass foliage design of the door, we glimpse Léonce as he removes his outer garments in the vestibule. When Léonce enters the foyer the camera moves to a side position to reveal the wide expanse of hall and stairway. He pauses at the sideboard table to examine the calling cards in a silver tray. Next he looks at himself in the gilt mirror above the table and straightens his tie. Léonce's attention is caught by a reflected object; this is a small bronzed statue of a boy reading under a tree. Then there is a closeup of the statue. Léonce turns and looks around the room. His eyes take in several objects of decor; among them are waxed flowers in an oval frame, a glass beaded drapery pull, and a table clock that is placed on the end of the sideboard. The clock is of white glazed china with scenes of Paris painted on the case. The camera moves closer to the clock until Léonce leaves the screen; then Léonce's hand appears in the frame and lightly rests on the case.

The image changes to the parlor. This room has many of the flourishes of an upper-class formal room of New Orleans in the Victorian era, yet it is undistinguished. There is a small rococo desk and a pedestal table with ornate legs next to an easy chair of large proportions. Between several other chairs of various styles is an étagère that holds a collection of Oriental objects. Edna is at the desk, with notepaper and writing implements placed before her. She is dressed

-86-

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