The setting is a small Oklahoma town in the early 1920s and the home of the Flood family. Here we find Rubin, a traveling salesman for a harness firm, Cora, his sensitive and lovely wife, Sonny, their little boy and Reenie, their teenage daughter. The plot consists of a series of short stories — the fight between a husband and wife; the fear of an overly shy young girl on going to a dance; the problems of an introverted little boy who feels that the whole world is against him; the corroding marriage of Cora's rowdy sister; and the tragedy of a military school cadet who suffers from the stigma of being a Jew in an alien community. The play's message is that there is dark at the top of everyone's stairs, but that it can be dissipated by understanding, tolerance and compassion.
"A moving, perceptive and effective drama. —NY Post. "William Inge…possesses a kind of magic, it is the magic of language, of never using a false word or phrase…" —NY Newsday.