• In Act 1, the setting and the family is introduced. The story takes place in a farmhouse in Illinois.
• Dodge is the owner of the farm and the house. He is married to Halie. He is a drunken, ill, argumentative man who spends most of his time on the couch with his 'security' blanket.
• Halie, Dodge's wife, seems to be a caretaker, while voicing religious piety and self-righteousness.
• It will be discovered that Halie is not a caring wife. She is having an affair with her minister, Father Dewis.
• Father Dewis is the minister of the church. He proves to be useless at solving the problems of this dysfunctional family.
• Halie has a dead son named Ansel, whom she considers to be the most promising of her sons.
• Halie dislikes the Catholics and blames Ansel's death on marriage to one.
• Halie refers to the Catholics as the mob...
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