For example, Lucy becomes red with anger when Cecil prohibits her from playing what she likes and instead commands her to play another piece at which she close[s] the instrument out of exasperation. In addition, when he refuses to join in the tennis match, Lucy, already angry that Cecil fail[s] to realize that it may be an act of kindness for a bad player to make up a fourth, concludes that he is actually sneer[ing] at her and the other players and thus refuses to answer him when he tries to get her attention.
However, Lucy, in a good mood after the game and believing that she love[s] Cecil, disregards her irritation with him and invites him to read away only to be further annoyed with Cecil when he does not share her mood and refuses to read while Mr. Emerson is [t]here to entertain [them] and even goes as far as to call Cecil frivolous. Not only does Cecils intrusive and snobby manner stop Lucy from having fun, but it also creates problems for the other characters.
For example, even though Cecil says that he will not spoil the setof four, he, in fact, actually does by refusing to play and thus troubles Lucy and the other characters to look for a fourth partner. As a consequence, the characters fall back on Lucy and she is forced to change [her] frock and to commit the sacrilege of br[eaking] ¦ sabbath to compromise for Cecil. In addition, Cecil distracts Lucy by read[ing] ¦
aloud a bad novel during the mens four tennis match and causing her to miss her stroke, Lucy, so irritated that Cecil had spoiled her fun, actually calls him a nuisance. Later, Cecil imposes himself upon Freddy and Floyd by insisting that they must listen to him read aloud from his bad novel and annoys them so much that they would rather leave him to hunt for a lost ball than to rest and listen to his drivel.
Later that Sunday night of the tennis game, all of Cecils egocentric and patronizingly patriarchal actions finally push Lucy to end their engagement. For example, Lucy finally sees how abominably selfish Cecil is after he refuses Freddys invitation to play once again, seeing that although he could play well enough to make up a set of four, he still decides to deny Freddy the game by declining once again.
In addition, Lucy at last notices that Cecil is incapable of know[ing] anyone intimately as he always protect[ed] [her] under the assumption that Lucy didnt know what was ladylike and right and never bothered to see that she can evidently choose for [her]self. Finally, Lucy, furious that Cecil tries to stifle and wrap [her] up in art and books and music like himself and limit her freedom, decides at last that she cannot behave as [his] wife and breaks off their engagement.
Thus, as Cecil spoils the mood by never participating in anything Lucys family and friends engage in, by creating trouble for them, and by restricting Lucys thoughts and actions, he unavoidably sets himself up to Lucy as a poor sport. Lucy, in turn, interprets Cecils lackadaisical attitude as the symbol of his whole being and as a result becomes increasingly exasperated with Cecil over time and ultimately terminates their relationship.