The play is about Slim and Cavale, two absolute messes living in sin together. Unable to move, yet at complete unrest, Slim swings from blaming Cavale for the disaster that is his life to begging her to tell him stories about French poets. Cavale is a former mental patient of some kind. She remembers electric shocks and having to wear metal plates around her club foot when she was younger. She also muses about playing the ugly duckling as a child, being forced into the role without even the satisfaction of emerging as a beautiful swan at the end. The two call on an imaginary Lobster Man for sustenance and entertainment. It's a play full of dichotomies, and easily swings from one extreme mindset to another. It theorizes that the American Dream does little more for the individual besides spoil his happiness.