This scene then cuts to a scene of Vivian, appearing in a flashback where she is speaking to her professor about John Donne’s Holy Sonnet 6 (Madison Repertory Theatre). However, they then begin quoting a different poem. The Metaphysical poem that they were quoting was actually John Donne’s holy sonnet 10 “Death be not proud” (Donne). This poem that addresses death as a person, and as a “slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men” (Donne). This implies that there is no superiority through death and ends with the line “Death, thou shalt die”. This brings about the idea that there is a resurrection after death, since death itself shall be gone (Donne).
Vivian continues to allude back to this poem throughout her treatment and suffering as a source of comfort. It is first introduced in this scene when it is clear that she is in a hospital bed, and is can be interpreted that she is beginning to breakdown her superiority and start to think about the fact that she could very well be dead soon (Madison Repertory Theatre). Every time the poem continues to appear throughout the movie it can be noted that her physical health while worse, is allowing her spiritual health clarity thus improving it and preparing her for what is to come. Due to the theological connotation Donne has with his poetry and the hint to resurrection in the poem, it is suggestive that Vivian follows some type of religious system. Later in the movie the use of props and setting is significant because it the background of the film at the current scene a painting was found in the professor’s office of Jesus. This painting later appears at Vivian’s bed side as she is struggling to overcome the pain she is enduring. She looks at the painting and it is clear that she cares deeply about that painting, whether that is because her professor and long time friend gave it to her or because her belief in Jesus, is unknown, it is possibly both. However, this prop further provides evidence of her humanity and spiritual transformation to losing her superiority complex and becoming (Donne).
During this flashback with her professor in the film the song “Spiegel Im Spiegel” by Arvo Part begins playing (Leonard Roczek and Herbery Schuch). Throughout the film this song plays multiple times, often while Vivian is narrating. The song literally means “mirror in the mirror” and it is often used as meditation music (The Cross-Eyed Pianist) . It aids with internal reflection usually and especially is used for internal reflection in the movie. When this song is played throughout the film Vivian, is often feeling reflective as she looks back on her life, her experience and explores internal self. She reaches several spiritual breakthroughs as this song is playing suggesting the breakdown of her character as she begins to understand humanity and kindness more and more throughout the film (“Sound.”).
After this scene the film cuts to when Vivian is first brought into the hospital. The lack of caring health care providers is astounding in this scene (Larson). Many were acting extremely serious even when Vivian tried to make a joke with the MRI technician about her name the woman did not laugh and instead acted as though she was wasting time by her visual cues and her flat affect. During this time Vivian begins to discuss her life and her background while getting tests done. She discusses her past research and all that she has done in her life.