The hollow shell of a damned monster. In fact, while the film adaptation doesn't seem to give Ruth any clear motivations for her actions, it is heavily implied that part of the reason for her hatred towards Meg was that she was envious of her youth and her innocence, as she Ruth was old and ugly. Fearing that Meg might not last any longer, David set the cellar on fire. During one of her "sessions" with Meg, she explained that she learned that women were garbage from watching her father beat and rape her mother. When Ruth arrived in the basement, he violently bludgeoned her to death with Susan's crutch.
She actually despises them, as they remind her of her ex-husband, and she even cites children as being something akin to a parasite that takes away a woman's happiness and money.
Meg refused to open up, resulting in a war of words between the two. Meg was clearly disturbed by her aunt's strange behavior towards her. Meg Loughlin was dead. Ruth suspected Meg had stolen food. The biased and jealous woman then, in great detail, told everyone present in the room of prostitution.