Cassie

Cynic

Cassie is in many ways the opposite of Marie. While Marie is known for her ability to cope with challenges, Cassie is cynical and embittered about her life.

Her mother Nora describes her as having a heart of flint and a tongue to match, an assessment which Cassie herself endorses: Heart like a Brillo pad, that’s me.

Cassie’s cynicism is apparent in everything she says. While the women watch ‘Blind Date’ she makes comments like

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She looks like she’s ready to go in the oven for Christmas dinner.

Throughout the play there is tension between mother and daughter: I fell out with my mummy on the delivery room floor.

Cassie’s latest dieting fad symbolises her discontentment with her life and her personality.

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I want something quick. You wait, Marie, I’ll have a completely new body by the end of the month.

In the club, Cassie tries to drown her sorrows by drinking: This is going to be the wildest of wild nights. Alcohol has made Cassie 'bold' – particularly in the club where her behaviour becomes increasingly outrageous. I don’t care what the world thinks is her response when her mother rebukes her.

Cassie mocks her friend Marie for being a mug when she gave Deirdre clothes, ridiculing her as Mother Teresa. Yet Marie is still the person she turns to for support, particularly in scene three.

Cassie and men

Cassie is particularly bitter about her husband who is in jail, Sure they did me a favour when they lifted him. She tells Marie that she is repelled by the smell of her husband and will “go crazy” when he is released from prison.

She displays deep-seated resentments towards her brother and mother and she talks about what she perceives as unfair treatment in childhood. In a monologue, she bitterly talks about how, my mummy taught me how to raise a family. The boys were given priority and her role was simply, Clear that mess up for me Cassie.

She becomes involved in relationships with other men as a means of escape, but this does not bring her any satisfaction. She tells Marie about the times when she has grabbed

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some man because he smells like excitement, he smells like escape. They can’t take you anywhere except into the back seat of their car. They’re all the same.

Her experiences have led her to be scornful about all men, Lying hounds every one of them.

The only exception is her late father, who she adored. My daddy says I was special, she says in her monologue in scene one. When Nora talks of how he used to hit her when drunk, Cassie vigorously defends her father. She idolises him the way Marie idolises Michael, although both men were flawed.

Cassie's confession

In the climax of the club scene Cassie lashes out at Deirdre when she accuses Cassie of being in a car with a man. Cassie’s violent response is prompted by her feelings of guilt, which eventually lead to her telling Marie the truth towards the end of the play.

Talking with Marie outside in scene three, Cassie reveals her wish to leave home. When Marie reminds her of her responsibilities to her children, Cassie’s feelings of guilt, frustration and self-loathing boil over: Amn’t I just a black hole of sins already?

When Cassie announces in scene four that she is going to leave, her mother forces her to face reality:

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What age are you to be making up daydreams and spoiling your face crying for them?

Finally, Cassie brutally demolishes Marie’s idealised view of Michael by confessing that she had a relationship with him. One of Cassie’s last remarks is So. There you are. That’s the truth. Marie has heard the truth. Cassie has also faced up to it by revealing the guilt that has worried her for years.