From the above information the title sets a subdued tone right from the start. This may be seen by ' a small shelf of books hanging in the shadow'. Books hanging in the shadow and hidden from view gives off the feeling that the books are not articles which are forthright and honest. Rather these books present a sense of mysterious and dark appearane. The persona has never seen her grandmother reading them but ' she handed them out like medicine' medicine is usually taken as a cure for illness and the fact that the books are served as healing medication provokes further sense of mysterious aura from the books. Next the resenment of the persona highlighted by the poem's resentful tone may be seen from the phrase ' they planned on twisting me' and the violent usage it verbs like 'agony'.
Next the poet employs the use of imagery to set the tone and heaviness of the poem. A visual image is conjured up by the poet where the literal pain of footbinding is illustrated by ' the crackling of the maiden's bones... the whining of her sinews' which serves as an unpleasant reminder of footbinding.