Wit: Death Thou Shalt Die

Topics: Kübler-Ross model, Denial, Grief Pages: 2 (682 words) Published: March 8, 2011
Wit: Death Thou Shalt Die
Vivian Bearing is a sophisticated scholar. She is a university professor in seventeenth-century poetry, who is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her oncologist, Dr. Kelekian suggests an experimental chemotherapy to be used on her, which would consist of eight full doses. Vivian agrees to the treatment, so the story begins. When watching the movie Wit, I related this movie much to what I had previously learned in high school. In high school, I learned about the Kubler-Ross model. The Kubler-Ross model, also known as the five stages of grief describe the process of death one goes through in order to come to acceptance with their crisis or tragedy; in most cases being an illness. I will be providing examples from the movie for each stage of grief Vivian Bearing had to go through. The five stages are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The first stage of grief comes in denial. Vivian shows denial for a very long time. When Dr. Kelekian asks her if she is strong enough for the highest dosage of chemotherapy, she responds, “You needn’t worry.” She accepts the treatment experiment without fear of causing herself harm. She does not take in consideration that this might be dangerous and could in fact result to side effects that could lead her to an earlier death. “I have stage four metastatic ovarian cancer. There is no stage five. And I have to be very tough. It appears to be a matter, as the saying goes...of life and death,” she says to the viewer while laughing about the matter. This gives the viewer an impression that she is still not quite aware that these might be her very few last words.

The second stage of grief is anger. The stage of anger is very brief for Vivian Bearing because in most scenes, the reciting of John Donne’s Poetry calms her. Vivian’s professor once analysed a sonnet from John Donne, mentioning, “...death is no longer something...it is a comma...” Instead of getting herself angry, she uses poetry...
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