Charles objects to the news of his father’s engagement to Margaret. He rebukes his wife, Dolly, blaming her for setting up his sister, Evie, with her uncle. Now that Evie is going to be married, she is no longer taking care of their father, and this neglect has prompted him to take a new wife. Charles’s fit of temper takes place in his garden at Hilton, surrounded by his wife, his growing brood of children, and his prized car. The young children represent a third generation of obnoxious Wilcoxes, set to “inherit the earth.”
Charles is still suspicious of Margaret’s designs on his mother’s house, and now his father’s fortune is also at risk. He blames the women in his life for sabotaging his happiness (his inheritance). His petty anger is associated with his modern automobile and his three young progeny, the likely future of England.