• Nightmare Fuel: Summer's sudden pyromania and compulsion to mutilate her fingers with a razor blade later on in the story.
    • The description of her dirty fingernails and the blood layered beneath them doubles as Nausea Fuel.
  • Values Dissonance: Ruth White says the story could never take place in contemporary times due to the advances in psychiatric medicine.
    • Lyric also comments on how the girls weren't allowed to wear pants to school because it wasn't "ladylike". This makes her mad because in the wintertime, the part of her leg not covered by her boots or her skirt would be freezing.
    • Claude insists both his girls are going to learn typewriting and become secretaries, the only "proper" jobs for women back then.
  • The Woobie: Both Lyric and Summer have their moments.
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