The words selected highlight the different stages that Kizzy is passing through. It makes a statement about every woman because the cycles are all cycles of life, including:
Coming into womanhood: here many of the words and metaphors deal with blood. Sharks on a soft bloom of blood[p.13], bloody popcorn[p.18], cats lap blood[p.43], drum of hot blood[p.54]. Offset against this is Kizzy’s perception of herself: hated her ankles, hated her hair, hated mirrors [p.14], choked on smoke[p.17], no boy would see her[p.26].
Seduction or not: The comparison between those that do and do not get seduced start with the Principal St. Pock Mark with his body full of parasites and bodily mildew [p.16], who runs the School for Cannibals [p.27], almost implying that everyone is a cannibal of goblin fruit. Her girlfriends who are fat and sarcastic[p.16] follow. Then there is the grandmother with her mother of pearl knife[p.42], except one would think that she did respond to seduction at least once.
The language about sex leading to unwanted results is quite pervasive and repulsive: here the words are mostly placed in terms of biological examples: Peacock screamed rape, tick-ridden(blood suckers) billy goat[p.14], frogs carrying their eggs in their cheeks[p.31], butterfly rape[p.33,34], spores that turn caterpillars to vegetables then used for tattoo[p.34], cats kill for fun[p.34]. Also the goblins have repulsive qualities like lips that smack and gluck [p.20]. She uses these tales along with her grandmother’s warnings and death and the repulsiveness of age, wrinkly and dry with a gross phlegmy cough[p.28], to imply that if you fail to live in your cycle you die too early, with words like the swan’s wing[p.17] which is both angelic but repulsive, her lips bruised by rejected goblin fruit[p.19]. But these get softer and die away before the goblin.
Once you see into Kizzy’s state of mind, what she’s noticing, what others are noticing about her, the tone gets less jarring, softer, focused on a specific sight or sense, and timid because of Kizzy’s age. It sounds nice enough to make the other warnings just warnings. Words about Kizzy: hungry eyes[p.13] and potential to purr throaty love songs[p.24], coy curl of lips[p.40] and the change from jeans into the emerald kimono[p.40]. Words about the rescued great-aunt: eye’s that sparkle with secrets[p.24]. With the wanted Mick Crispain she is noticing what seduction involves: slow dance[p.20], knuckles under breasts[p.21], soft doves cooing [p.21]. And with Mr. Husk she’s noticing what she wants: lips red as angels, lips soft and full as angels[p.25], lips by proxy [p.29], his bruises of sleeplessness below eyes, taste of licorice[p.30], and boy spice—butter without sugar. Here the language is less jarring, softer, focused on a specific sight or sense, and timid because of Kizzy’s age. It sounds nice enough to make the other warnings too easily ignored. Especially fed on chocolates, rare cheese and wine during a daring breakfast picnic from an easily accessible young man.
Because the language is so sensory and full of comparisons and contrasts, the reader is set to follow into the tale and buy into everything that happens.