Wit is a critically acclaimed play by Margaret Edson's (1993). The play dramatizes the suffering, body and mind of Vivian Bearing, a professor of seventeenth-century English poetry who is dying of stage four ovarian cancer which was detected late. The plays focus is on end-of-life treatment of cancer, the patient and doctor relationship, and the ethics of resuscitation status, full code versus do not resuscitate. The play revolves around two physical-institutional spaces: the hospital and the university. These to spaces are in contrast with each other in that the hospital is all about the body, while the university contributes to the state of mind. Vivian plays both parts to establish contrast and similarities between the two physical spaces or worlds. The hospital space is characterized constriction in autonomy through hospital procedures, treatment and tests, it also gives the audience an insight on doctor - patient relationship, patient - nurse relationship, and emphasizes on the health of Vivian. The university physical space gives the audience a chance to relate to Vivian’s life before hospitalization through flash backs that characterizes Vivian’s character as a professor of seventeenth-century English poetry. She is seen as one who is well educated,
The play has a variety of characters with the main ones being Vivian Bearing who reflects on the toll cancer treatment takes on her and significant events in her life. Dr. Jason Posner who is a fellow clinician, Dr. Kelekian who is an oncologist leading research scientist and Susie Monahan, a nurse who advocates for Vivian's condition. In the beginning of the play Dr. Kelekian, , informs Dr. Bearing that she has a terminal case of ovarian cancer with his recommendation, Bearing decides to pursue an experimental treatment, one that won't save her life, but one that will further scientific knowledge. Persuaded by her love of knowledge, she agrees to the painful large dosage of...
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