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This chapter is the only one in the novel in which we get to see Jay and Mary interact without anyone else around. It is clear that they are very much in love with one another, and that they try to do little things to please each other. Although the first chapter suggests that alcohol may be a point of contention between Mary and Jay, we see no evidence of it in this chapter; the husband and wife appear to have a healthy and harmonious relationship.

There is some foreshadowing in this chapter that the car is going to be important to the plot. Agee shows us this by breaking out of the lengthy paragraph form that characterizes the rest of the novel; the two-page description of the car starting reads more like an onomatopoeic poem. The car is depicted as an unwieldy beast, a "malicious mule"; Agee compares the noise it makes to a "lunatic sobbing" and a "mouse being tortured." Mary watches in apprehension as the car leaves the driveway and speeds away. There is further foreshadowing of gloom in Agee's descriptions after jay leaves: the milk Jay warmed for Mary is now tepid, the empty cup is "singularly repugnant," the children are "drowned" in sleep. Furthermore, though Mary is pleased that Jay has made the bed for her, the warmth that he hoped to store in it for her has "long since departed." It is a curiously weighty ending for a chapter that concerns itself primarily with pleasant domestic rituals; these dark details forebode heavier elements in the plot that manifest later in the story.