The play opens with an intimate family scene between the long-suffering Margaret Lord and her two daughters, Tracy and Dinah. The three women are busy planning Tracy’s wedding to George Kittredge. She is marrying in style, with a prenuptial party and a stylish reception for five hundred people.
When Tracy briefly exits, Dinah tells her mother that Dexter is in town. Dinah is clearly fond of Dexter, and seems to regret her sister’s divorce. Later in the scene, Dinah telephones Dexter and issues him an invitation to the festivities.
Tracy’s impending marriage and her past alliance are discussed in light of the failed marriage of her parents. Tracy despises her father for his poor treatment of her mother, but her mother tends to blame herself. Their disagreement seems to parallel Tracy’s attitude towards her own failed first marriage. Was her first husband, Dexter, at fault? Or was she? Should she be more forgiving, like her mother? Tracy dismisses the idea of shared blame, commenting that she and her mother ‘‘just picked the wrong first husbands.’’
Tracy exits. Dinah has been proofreading; she now reveals that the proof sheets are a magazine story about her father’s adultery. Dinah innocently believes the story is false; Margaret inadvertently reveals that the story is true.
Sandy, Tracy’s elder brother, arrives. He works as an editor at The Saturday Evening Post....
(The entire section is 1337 words.)
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