Lena and Jim go to the theater often that spring, although Lena insists on paying for her own seat. Lena loves the glamour of the theater, with its champagne, sterling silver dishware, and roses.
By paying for her seat, Lena shows her independence. She loves the glitz of the theater because she grew up glamourless and poor.
At the theater, Jim feels "like a man" with Lena. When Jim and Lena see a performance of Dumas's Camille, Jim sympathizes with the young character Armand, who falls in love with the older Marguerite, who is dying of tuberculosis. Both he and Lena are moved to tears. Jim drops off Lena at home, then wanders the rainy streets pondering the relationship between Armand and Marguerite.
Jim no longer feels the social restrictions placed upon him and Lena in Black Hawk. Yet Jim is moved by the play because Marguerite, who is out of Armand's reach, reminds him of Ántonia, whom he still loves.