Candee’s contrast of O.T. home-seekers with “helpless, discouraged women, inefficient and parasitical” certainly cuts more sharply than her later works. At the risk of reading too much into one colorful phrase, perhaps this reflects a bit of her own “strength via defiance” – her own refusal to be a “helpless, discouraged woman”?
Candee was caring for two children in a frontier town. Divorce carried substantial social stigma, whatever her former society or current surroundings. It must have taken some grit and grind in practice, however much grace and style were manifested in the presentation. A little defensiveness or hostility is not inconceivable. It happens.