Leeds home. New England home in which the first two acts are set. The location suggests the domination of Nina’s puritanical father over her adolescence, and his priggishness is mirrored in his well-ordered study. In the second act, after Leeds dies, his study falls into disarray, suggesting that his values are not perpetuated in the modern world. Once he is gone, Nina is free to marry Sam Evans, a likable figure who, like Nina, worships the memory of Gordon Shaw, the fiancé she lost in World War I.
Evans homestead. Decaying house that is an apt setting for Sam’s mother to reveal to the newly married Nina the dark secret of the Evans family—that the unborn child Nina now carries may grow up insane. After aborting her pregnancy, Nina seduces Ned Darrell in the Evans house so that she can bear a child to make her husband happy.
Evans apartment. Well-appointed Park Avenue residence in New York City that suggests the level of affluence the Evans family has achieved. It contrasts, however, with the growing dissolution that Nina feels. Her son is more devoted to Sam Evans, whom he thinks is his natural father, than to her, At the same time, Nina continues to feel deep affection for Ned Darrell. In the apartment, her son sees a physical display of her affection for Darrell; afterward, he forms a hatred for Darrell and disgust for his mother....
(The entire section is 404 words.)