The mother is portrayed as a frightened, dependent woman who cannot cope with the demands of parenting, nor even of maintaining employment. The thought of reunion with her children is experienced not as joyous, but as threatening to her newfound security as the mistress of a wealthy man. She projects her inadequacies onto her rejected husband. But there is no easy remedy for the anxieties that compel her to sever all connections with her children, whom she clearly once loved. Desperately seeking alternative caregivers, she is willing to place them in an orphanage, have them adopted by others, and never see them again.