Sandra's artistic abilities were frustrated as a child by poor art instruction and a terrible fall which badly broke her arm. She felt stifled as a child by her parents' desires to fit into American culture and was criticized for expressing her own needs or hopes. She grew disillusioned with American virtue after watching a drunk woman kiss her father. Her inability to express herself artistically or personally led to an eventual mental breakdown, characterized by her belief that she was moving backward through evolution and was losing her humanity. This loss of humanity symbolizes her loss of artistic inspiration and a sense of her own unique identity.