Vivian Bearing In Margaret Edson's Wit

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Vivian Bearing is the main character within the play Wit by Margaret Edson. Wit centers on Vivian’s journey after learning she has ovarian cancer. As the story progresses, Vivian’s characters grows and changes with each passing moment. Edson does a magnificent job of displaying this character development through Vivian’s actions and dialogue. The play opens with Vivian speaking directly to the audience. As she explains her situation, the audience is given the first taste of who she is and how she presents herself. Vivian is a very articulate, well-educated, straight forward woman. She does not sugar coat anything, especially her condition. In the beginning, when Dr. Kelekian tells Vivian she has stage four ovarian cancer, she has an almost…show more content…
She starts off as a cold, impersonal, studious professor who shows little emotion towards her diagnosis. Her changes are small but grow with each moment. It begins with how she conducts herself in appointments; after a while she knows the ins and outs of how everything is done and so she breezes through them. Then, as her condition begins to worsen, she shows real emotion towards her situation. Like any woman, she becomes embarrassed by having to wear flimsy gowns day in and day out while being poked and prodded. She must also watch herself lose her hair, which she regards as a difficult process. Finally, the illness begins to take a serious toll on her body and mind as she undergoes the severity of her changes. She begins to regret how impersonal and unsympathetic she was towards her students, she loses her overly confident and stubborn demeanor, and she stops hiding her pain. Her final heartwarming moment of love and caring with her former professor seals her personal changes just before the end of her life. The character development Vivian goes through over the course of the play are quite extraordinary. Edson does a phenomenal job of displaying these changes through Vivian’s dialogue and actions; solidifying the complexity of the character and her
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