Vivian in the play Wit shows that life cannot be taken for granted. Vivian is a strong willed character that fights the constant struggles of life, and shows that life isn’t that easy most of the time. Vivian had a strong faith in her pride and what she had accomplished throughout her life. Even though cancer took her life she felt that she had left a small impact behind on earth.
Vivian was a very tough woman that handled her cancer with a strong ambition. She was described as being strong when Jason said: “well, she wasn’t exactly a cupcake”(Edson 75). Not only was she a strong individual, but also she had a reputation as a college professor for having difficult classes and a very demanding manner. Vivian cared about her students and her teaching as she had a strong sense of scholarship and wanted her students to get a full understanding about Donne and poetry. Her strong passion for teaching seemed to consume her life. She was unmarried and without children, her parents were deceased, and she had no other family members to contact towards the end of her fight. It seemed as she lived a lonely life in which her father didn’t pay much attention towards her. Since Vivian didn’t receive a lot of attention she turned her focus and fascination towards books that her father had given her. Vivian’s situation wasn’t the best, but she seemed to keep her head up. She relied on her past experiences to guide her in the right direction.
Vivian’s situation can be related to The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies as the flopsy bunnies did not provide enough food for their children, so they had to improvise and sneak into Mr. McGregor’s trash in order to get enough food. It seems as though Vivian was put in a similar situation when her lack of parenting didn’t seem to corrupt her. She found a way to strive towards what fascinated her, which were words and books.
At the very end of the play Vivian is introduced to a children’s book The Runaway Bunny that plays a big part in the play and ties things together for Vivian. As Dr. Ashford reads Vivian the story as she is dying, the full meaning behind the pictures seems to be surreal. In class it was interpreted that the mother bunny was viewed as the spirit of God. The mother bunny was always going to watch over her young bunny as God was taking Vivian into his own hands. As the young bunny traveled away from his mother, his mother being God would always find him. As Vivian seemed lost in what to direction to head or what to think as she stated in her last few lines of the play “I don’t see any other way. We are discussing life and death, and not in the abstract” (Edson 69). Dr. Ashford was able to calm Vivian into whom she was able to lie and rest in peace in the hands of God where he would take care of Vivian.
Vivian is a strong character that takes things as they are. She has gone through life for her passion of Donne and his poetry. And the connection with both of these children’s novels can help get a better grasp of the situation Vivian is going through and they provide another piece of literature that Wit can be compared with.