• The servants are cleaning in the living room while a party is heard in the background. They gossip about their boss' having feelings for the housekeeper.
• Ekdal comes into the office to get some papers. The servants talk about how he was in the army, but went to jail after a bad deal with Werle.
• Werle is throwing a party for his son. Ekdal's son, Hjalmar is there. He and Gregers talk about their lives.
• Hjalmer recently married Gina, a woman who used to work for Werle. Werle set up a photography business for Hjalmar.
• Ekdal walks through them to leave, and Hjalmar ignores him. Gregers chides him for this, but Hjalmar admits to being embarrassed.
• Gregers talks alone with his father. He asks why he has allowed the Ekdals to sink so low. Werle says the bad business deal was Ekdal's fault.
• He compares them to...
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