The breaking up of a twenty year old marriage -- its beginnings and its aftermath -- traces the lives of Sam and Amy Styron and writes an answer that the change cannot disrupt. For Amy's captive-wife submission to Sam's disease of jealousy and possession is based on a pre-marital affair with another and, having written off her debt, with two of their three children grown, she is ready and defiantly willing, first for a chance to prove herself as an artist and second to get a divorce when Sam is adamantly resistant to her career. Her agent and the man she comes to care for see through her hoped-for freedom -- the divorce will be legal but will it be spiritual since the purist in Sam shadows her, since the questions about the children concern her as well as Sam, and since she finds that life is more important with Sam. And the result is that she returns to her cage and the absorptive, cloistered life she has known, and is ready to accept again. This presumes that people may alter but not really change and that marriage as a fundamental itself is changeless.