In the beginning of Isaac Bashevis Singer's The King of the Fields, both Krol Rudy, the leader of the "farmers", and Cybula, the leader of the hunters, sexually assault Yagoda, who is mentioned as being 12 years old. This occurs within the first chapter of two of the book; I don't have my copy handy.
What is the point of having both leaders of the opposite sides do this? It's a little disconcerting with the cavalier way it's mentioned, and, to be honest, put me off of continuing the book.
What's the point of having both of them do this, from a literary point of view? What does this accomplish in telling the reader?