Summary and Analysis Act II: Walpurgisnacht: Scenes vii-x


In scene vii, Nick re-enters to report that Honey is resting on the tiles of the bathroom floor. In scene viii, while George is out getting ice, Martha and Nick continue their sexual flirtation and Martha is the aggressor. George re-enters, notices their actions, and exits again without acknowledging them. He re-enters a moment later singing "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," delivers the ice, and then ignores them, sits in a chair and reads a book about history. This infuriates Martha because she does not know how to react to this new behavior. This scene has not been programmed and she has the sense that she is losing control of the situation. As George ignores them, pretending to be content with his book, Martha becomes "livid" with anger since she is obviously using Nick to make George angry. She then sends Nick to the kitchen to wait.

In scene ix, George's pretended obliviousness to the sex play going on between Nick and Martha causes Martha to threaten that she will indeed go to bed with Nick if George doesn't stop her. Martha's frantic threats such as "I swear to God I'll do it," "I swear to God I'll follow that guy into the kitchen, and then I'll take him upstairs . . ." and "I'll make you regret. . . ." indicate that this is indeed the first time that she has ever gone this far. In spite of the fact that Martha has been presented otherwise, this night represents a new departure for George and Martha. It is the first time that their "son" has been mentioned to outsiders, and it is also the first time that Martha has gone so far in seducing another person.

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