A cynic is someone who expects the worst to happen. Flora considers herself a cynic in part because her mother has called her a natural born cynic. Flora is the child of divorce, so she feels as though bad things do happen, as they did when her mother stopped lover her father and sent her father away. However, the reader soon discovers that Flora is not as much of a cynic as she believes she is. Flora is a child of strong character who is simply wounded by her parents' divorce.