Harsher in Hindsight: A big one comes with a reading when you consider that the novel was clearly published before it was known that drinking while pregnant harms an unborn fetus. Combine this with the ending...yeeeeah... Here are some quotes:
"Don't we have a fine time?" Catherine said. "Look. Let's go some place and have beer instead of tea. It's very good for young Catherine. It keeps her small."
"Do you think I ought to drink another beer? The doctor said I was rather narrow in the hips and it's all for the best if we keep young Catherine small."