The General (Leon) called a family meeting with his sister, the Countess and his son Nicholas to discuss their hunchbacked old maid sister, Ardele, and her infatuation with a hunchbacked tutor hired by the general for his ten year old son. They wish to prevent her marriage to the tutor and she has locked herself in her room and doesn't come out through the whole play. The General is having an affair with a maid. The Countess arrives with her lover and her husband who is having an affair with a young lady himself. Yet despite their own indiscretions, they will not hear of Ardele's love affair even though it might be her only chance at love.
Anouilh's play is a comic statement on the selfish attitudes of people claiming to be in love.
This report prepared by Jack Goodstein