Tuesday, April 13, 2010

W;t amd Anna in the Tropics

After reading Wit, I realized it shared one big similarity with Anna in the tropics in that they both use an existing piece of literature as a basis for the play. While Anna in the Tropics used Tolstoy's Anna Karenina as a way of relating the chacters in the novel to the Cuban characters in the play, while simultaneously depicting how important literature was to the lives of these Cuban cigar factory workers and what the lost with its removal with the coming of modernity; Edson uses John Donne and his poetry to help relate the emotions Vivian is going through. I especially enjoyed how Edna deconstructs one of Donne's poems early on to liken a comma to that of a breath that separates life from life everlasting. However, on a broader note, these two plays demonstrate the power of writing as the characters in Anna and Vivian in Wit use a novel and Donne's poems to make sense of their lives and help them get through their ordeals.


  1. I find one can take an existing work and find many parallels to one's own life. Having read some of John Donne's poem none I can remember off hand I feel all we read and digest effect our point of view in some way.

  2. It is true that literature serves as a source of "coping" in both plays. Hopefully when I die I'll have a decent writer to quote :)

  3. That is really interesting. I hadn't noticed the connection before, but now that you mention it, these works do significantly rely on other works to build something more meaningful.


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