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Like Act I Betty, Edward of Act II is largely defined by his father's oppression. He is forced to hide his sexuality, although the fact that he is played by a woman in Act I indicates a kind of gender mismatch from the beginning of the play. If his sexuality benefits him in any way in the first act, it does so by allowing him to be a part of the only truly loving relationship of the act. Betty does not appear to truly love Clive, and her love for Harry is unrequited. Likewise, Ellen's love for Betty is not returned. Only Harry and Edward appear to truly care for one another, however perverse their relationship might seem.
Act II Edward, played by a man, faces perhaps the most complex quest for identity. He slowly grows into his role as a gay man, but even very near the end of the play, still struggles to find a way to be the kind of gay man that he wants to be. At one point, he even tells Victoria that he wishes to be a woman. Gerry denies him the chance to play the role of wife in a relationship. Ultimately, Edward finds pleasure in the role of mother, in taking care of children. Edward's transformation indicates the failure of Clive's values. Edward becomes a near opposite of the person that Clive intended him to be.
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