Winnie, the main character, is buried up to her waist in a tall mound of sand. She has a bag full of interesting artifacts, including a comb, a toothbrush, even a revolver, to which she strokes and pats lovingly. The harsh ringing of a bell demarcates waking and sleeping hours. Winnie is content with her existence: "Ah well, what matter, that's what I always say, it will have been a happy day after all, another happy day."
The metaphoric reasons for why Winnie is buried as she is, are speculated, but she is content with her existence as is.
Willie, her husband is nearby, presumably similarly stuck in a hole: Winnie directs him at one point the proper procedure to return to his hole. Winnie is unable to move however, but Winnie, throughout the play, comes out and even reads the paper beside her wife, but not facing the stage.
In the second act, Winnie is no longer buried up to her waist, but to her head. She continues to speak (that is all she can do - she cannot reach her bag), and at the conclusion of the play Willie crawls up to her, dressed immaculately - but the reasons for his approach to her are not known: is he intending to kill her? Winnie, however, looks lovingly down at Willie, singing a song from a music box she had examined in the first act.