Berenice and F. Jasmine then light up cigarettes and have a frank discussion about love. Berenice explains how every one of her three marriages after Ludie was just an attempt to repeat what she once had. Berenice cautions F. Jasmine from falling in love with an idea in the same way and she warns of the imminent disappointment that F. Jasmine will feel at the wedding.
F. Jasmine announces that she will take two baths to fully cleanse herself. She asks Berenice why it is illegal to change one's name. Berenice says because such a thing just leads to confusion and because names accumulate meaning after time that cannot be shed. F. Jasmine gets existential and marvels that there is such a thing as a difference between two selves, saying, "Doesn't it strike you as strange that I am I, and you are you?" She wonders if, when people look at colors, they see the same thing as one another and Berenice says there is no way to prove such a thing.
In a moment of unity, F. Jasmine climbs in Berenice's lap and the two breathe in time with each other. Berenice says she understands F. Jasmine's question about the separation of the selves, about how we are all trapped because of these differences. Berenice explains to F. Jasmine that she is trapped even more so because she is black and lives in an oppressive world. F. Jasmine says that the words "loose" and "caught" are interchangeable in this context because we are caught in a system but still loose in the fact that we are disconnected from one another. Suddenly, the three of them all begin to cry in unison.
This chapter develops the major theme about the rules that govern the world in which we live. F. Jasmine marvels at Berenice's tales of the man who changed his sex. She cannot seem to understand how a man could become a woman. Because that would break one of the most fundamental divisions in human life: the division between male and female. Ironically, F. Jasmine is herself such a tom boy, with a blonde crew cut and dirty elbows, that her efforts to mature are really attempts to alter her gender. When she proudly states how she is going to cleanse herself, it is to shed the skin of androgyny and morph completely into a woman. Unfortunately, F. Jasmine does not know what the rules of being a woman are. Further, Berenice tries to explain to her why she cannot join in on his brother's marriage with the Noah's Ark analogy. Without actually mentioning sex, Berenice does her best to explain to F. Jasmine the laws of nature. But F. Jasmine is clearly still too ignorant and unprepared for such information.
Dividing lines, a major theme in the novella, play a strong role in the exploration of life's rules. Frankie cannot get over the existential concept that each person is his or her separate entity, totally isolated from other human beings. This leads to Berenice's revelation that all people are "caught"; and hence, Frankie's take that they are alternately "loose." These are the unfortunate rules that one must live by and which Frankie must come to comprehend. But, as we see, she need not accept them as whole truths. Because, even if there is a great distinction between the races, she still finds unity with Berenice when the two of them breathe in time. By doing so, their physicality is brought together and F. Jasmine's fears of disconnectedness are appeased. This is a greatly hopeful message of unity and acceptance that McCullers projects, in a time and place of great racism and divisiveness.
It is particularly strange that this part never mentions the visit we heard about in Part One that was supposed to take place at some point during the day on Saturday. Unless it happened before F. Jasmine left the house that morning, it had to have happened between two p.m., the point when F. Jasmine returns home, and 5:45 p.m., which is where Part One picks up. One of McCullers's talents as a writer is to smoothly skip over time, jumping hours or even days between paragraphs. We can only assume that at some point she slyly drove around actually describing the visit first-hand. As it comes to pass, when we actually do see the wedding, it is only described first-hand in a single paragraph. The rest of the highly brief description is all reflected back on.