Vivian Bearing's Outlook

572 Words3 Pages
Throughout Vivian Bearing’s entire life, she has been a dedicated scholar and professor. She studied John Donne’s poems religiously, so much that in her eyes, this idea of intellectualism and wit is the most important thing life has to offer. She takes pride in her knowledge of seventeenth- century poetry and often comes off as harsh to students who simply are not on her intellectual level. However, as Bearing’s eight-cycle cancer treatment comes to a close and the realization that death is on prowl, Bearing no longer puts Donne on a pedestal. As Bearing’s death approaches, she realizes that wit and intellect are not the most important things in life, but instead, kindness and humanity is what brings a peace of mind. Bearing firsts discovers her love for literature on her fifth birthday when she discovers a new word, soporific. The discovery is so fascinating to Bearing, that it guides her down a path of intense literary study. In her days as a pupil under E.M. Ashford, Bearing finds herself stuck on interpreting one of John Donne’s sonnets. The professor sees a problem in her student that Bearing is completely oblivious. She instructs Bearing to go outside and enjoy herself with other people she cares about. As instructed, Bearing makes a valid attempt, but unfortunately, she just cannot relate to other students. Obviously, Bearing’s life started revolving around her studies at a very early age. By the time Bearing is a well-known professor, it’s apparent that wit and intellect are the most important aspects of her life. During her days of lecturing, Bearing is blunt and unsympathetic. She does not teach to help her students grow in literature but to showcase her own profound knowledge of John Donne’s poetry. She comes to this realization through Jason’s unsympathetic manner of operation. After Bearing is diagnosed with cancer early in the play, she has a

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