In these two chapters we gain a much fuller understanding of Joel. As he waits for his daughter to call him in Chapter 9, he feels the heaviness of the air increase until it "felt like iron. He braced against it quietly to accept, endure it, relishing not only his exertion but the sullen, obdurate cruelty of the iron, for it was the cruelty which proved and measured his courage." In Chapter 10, we see Joel convey this perspective to his daughter; he does not console her or let her cry on his shoulder, but rather tells her the truth—he views the truth as the greatest kindness he can give to her. After warning Mary not to use religion as a crutch, Joel can tell by her response that she will not listen to anything he says regarding religion because he is not a religious man himself. This brief exchange highlights again the tensions that Mary's intense religious beliefs create within her family.