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The play tells the story of the outbreak of war between the fictional European countries of Ostnia and Westland. Some of the action takes place in the "Ostnia-Westland Room", an imaginary setting in which two rooms, one in an Ostnian household, one in a Westland household, each occupy half the stage, and the family in one house are unaware of the family in the other - although the son and daughter of the two families sense each other's existence. Other scenes take place in the office of the Westland dictator. The play ends in a visionary scene between the two lovers who have never met in real life.
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