Chapter 2 Summary

Newland Archer feels a strange embarrassment upon the arrival of the woman in the yellow dress. Everyone was staring at the woman who sits in the same box as his betrothed, May. The woman’s dress is astonishing and is causing most of the commotion. Her shoulders are exposed and the neckline plunges low, exposing too much of her bosom. Archer does not like the influence this woman’s attire might have on his fiancé’s character.

As Archer listens to the murmuring around him, he learns that the woman is May’s cousin. The woman has suddenly arrived from Europe, having left her husband. For the past couple of days, she has been staying with Mrs. Mingott, May’s grandmother. Although Archer approves of family...

(The entire section is 608 words.)