!!This book provides examples of:
* AbusiveParent: Mortmain is portrayed as a neglectful father with severe anger issues. He threatens his wife with a knife, constantly neglecting his children and even striking Cassandra later on in the book, the father comes off as this.
** I can't tell if it was a ValuesDissonance or just TrueArtIsAngsty that his behavior was tolerated for the most part, even encouraged because apparently he needed to have a nasty temper in order to write.
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Rose could either be a ruthless GoldDigger or a pitiable character with no options who wants to help her family survive.
* HilariousInHindsight: [[spoiler:Cassandra and Thomas lock their father up and refuse to let him out until he has started a new book.]] This is treated as pure slapstick. Several decades later, Creator/StephenKing would use the same concept [[Literature/{{Misery}} but played for horror instead]].
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: In-universe, '''Jacob Wrestling'''. And how! Several plot points revolve around this.
** Subverted with the novel Mortmain starts to write during the course of this one. His children think he's either doing this trope or else having another CreatorBreakdown because he seems to be endlessly fiddling with bits of childish rubbish, but actually he's trying to write a novel entirely from the perspective of a very young child. (A ShoutOut to Creator/JamesJoyce's ''Literature/APortraitOfTheArtistAsAYoungMan''.)
* ValuesDissonance: While Mortmain's behaviour towards his children is mainly harmless, if pretty cold and distant, some of his actions (such as getting mad at Cassandra and pushing her into a wall) definitely don't go over as well today as they would have in the 1940s.
** On a lighter note, the Mortmain girls treat Simon as an oddity because he is a young man with a beard, and he is described as [[SheCleansUpNicely becoming markedly more handsome when he shaves it off]]. This can come off as silly in an era where beards have become a lot more fashionable even among young men.
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: Cassandra tries to convince herself that a sunrise symbolises her future with Simon.
* TheWoobie: Stephen
** Cassandra may also qualify