Kate Chopin's The Awakening: Screenplay as Interpretation

By Marilyn Hoder-Salmon | Go to book overview

LÉONCE: We spend enough money in this house to expect at least one decent meal a day.

EDNA: You used to think the cook was a treasure.

LÉONCE: It needs looking after, my dear. (He rises.) My wife at the helm.

EDNA: Where are you going?

LÉONCE: My club.

This scene dissolves into a shot of the dining room from another perspective [ Gardner, "Mooncircles"]. The room is darker, but with a warm glow of candlelight. The camera focuses on Edna as she enjoys her dessert. The maid appears.

MAID: Coffee in here, madame?

EDNA: Yes. Yes, please. Tell Cook the tart was delicious.

Edna puts her fork down. She turns her head to the camera with a subtle flicker of a smile on her face as the shot fades.


Scene 7. Present time: Spring. On the way to the Gulf.

Edna looks out the window of her train compartment. In the left foreground of the screen we see her profile, with particular attention to her hand, as it rests lightly on the window. The ride seems smooth. The rural landscape rolls by. What we see from the long window is the Louisiana marshlands, with their grasses turned brown by cool weather. In the background a graceful silvery band of bayous traces its narrow curving way to the sea. This shot is held for a long moment. It is an unchanging panorama that contrasts the desolate, barren flatland with the loveliness of the bayous.


Scene 8. Reverie: Winter. A walk and a visit.

This will be a long sequence. It begins with Edna on a solitary walk through the streets of the French Quarter's commercial district. The first shot is of a tiled street sign embedded in the sidewalk and a section of Edna's skirt at the edge of the screen [ Guiraud, "Sylvia"].

-89-

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