Tying It All in Essay examples

Submitted By whatajoke123
Words: 1563
Pages: 7

“It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes As we take in information, we tend to want to share it with the world without understanding that great wisdom comes to those who listen. In Margaret Edson’s Wit, (Winner of 1999 Pulitzer Prize for
Drama) readers learn about a prominent professor who is forced to take another look at her life when she is diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Readers can’t help but notice the literary devices like symbolism, allusion, and theme that are being used to make connections with the characters of the play. Though Wit is a short play it is still one that is filled with elements like knowledge, redemption, and growth that will allow you as a reader to lose yourself within its content. Our play consists of a small cast. Professor E.M Ashford is VIVIAN’s mentor and is responsible for guiding her through her studies of John Donne’s poetry. Susie is the caring nurse and near friend of VIVIAN. The character Jason who is a previous student of Dr. Bearing and now one of the doctors helping her condition appears to be carefree of the well being of his patient. He is more concerned with the research and studies of the sickness itself. “JASON: (Going right to the graph on the wall) Just to look at the I&O sheets for one minute, and it takes me half an hour to do precautions. Four, seven, eleven. Two-fifty twice. Okay. (Remembering) Oh, Jeez. Clinical. Professor Bearing. How are you feeling today?” (Edson, 47) The other doctor and professor who happens to play a major role in the play is Dr. Harvey Kelekian for his job in revealing her devastating news. Last, but not least is Dr. Vivian
Bearing herself who is a successful professor that studies the works of the 17th Century poet, John
Donne. Vivian is also the main character that suffers from terminal ovarian cancer at the age of fifty. Ovarian cancer is cancer that starts in the ovaries. The ovaries are the female reproductive organs that produce eggs. Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women, and it causes more deaths than any other type of female reproductive cancer. It is not caught in its initial stages, therefore, few women survive. In order for research doctors to find a cure, they must experiment with different kinds of drag treatments. “SUSIE: Well, they thought the drugs would make the tumor get smaller, and it has gotten smaller. But the problem is that it started in new places too. They’ve learned a lot for their research. It was the best thing they had to give you, the strongest drugs. There just isn’t a good treatment for what you have yet, for advanced ovarian. I’m sorry. They should have explained this—
(Edson, 67) By the time the cancer is diagnosed the tumor has spread to other places. This cancer usually happens in women over fifty like our main character, Dr. Bearing, but it can affect younger women also. “Whenever people eat or drink together, it’s communion.” -Thomas C. Foster Though the Popsicle scene between Vivian and Susie appeared to be presented in a scarce amount of time and to certain readers it may seem irrelevant to Vivian’s salvation, it is to my understanding that it was her salvation. Throughout the play readers receive the impression that Dr. Bearing was not the type of teacher or person who showed any thought towards humanity. Yet, in this small scene I am struck by the compassion that Vivian finally shows to another human being besides Donne. The true definition of
“wit” is displayed by the simplest act of kindness; sharing a Popsicle. In Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read
Literature Like a Professor,…