Different aspects are highlighted, depending on which characters you study. Cleofilas suffers from battered woman's syndrome, in that she routinely forgives her abusive husband, believing that her role is to love him unconditionally. She is trapped by her cultural role as a wife, which leads to complete isolation. She has no friends, no vehicle of her own (which she couldn't drive anyway), no job, nowhere to turn. She is astounded when she meets Felice, who runs her own life without the influence of a man.
In contrast to the victimization of Cleofilas, other women in the story represent strength and independence. When they see her bruises, they understand her pain, & make every effort to help her. They are not afraid of her husband, & return her to her father, who willingly takes her in. She learns that the only unconditional love is that of a parent for a child, & she continues that with her own children.