In the drama “Bold Girls” written by Rona Munro we observe the changes in four woman’s attitudes. We see how Cassie, Marie, Nora and Deirdre adapt to the present situation within Belfast, the Troubles. Rona Munro examines the character of every woman and allows us to sympathise with certain aspects of their life. However certain characters require a greater amount of sympathy than others.
Bold Girls is a stirring play about three ‘Bold’ women in Belfast during the Troubles. Marie, Nora and Cassie have been through a lot in their lives. Each of their men have either been killed or imprisoned for political activities. Although the men play an important role within the lives of the women they realise that their absence must not hinder them and so everyday life must continue. But with the appearance of a disturbing young girl, Deirdre and Cassie’s cruel revelations it is clear that the happy portrayal of their lives are false.Order now
The play “Bold Girls” made me sympathises with certain characters. Although throughout the novel my opinions were changing there was one character that remained at the forefront of my sympathy, Cassie. While my choice is not at first obvious I hope to explain my reasoning behind my choice below.
Cassie throughout the novel has managed to live up to the ‘Bold’ ideology by this I mean the pejorative connotations of the word bold. Cassie is not automatically a character that would demand sympathy, as she appears harsh, uncaring, self-obsessed and ruthless. However there are underlying reasons that I believe she requires the sympathy of the reader. These are as follows:
In her life Cassie has been through what a handful of woman may never experience in total. Cassie has withheld false expectations about her father throughout her life she describes him as “oh my daddy was a lovely man. Gentle.”â€¦. “My daddy never lied to me”. Where Nora remembers her husband Sean as drunk and boorish. Cassie sees a man pushed beyond endurance. Her disgust at Joe is countered by Nora’s respect for his lack of violence. Falsehood pervades even parental relationship. Fathers are either idolised or
Vilified. Cassie adored her father and rejects her mother’s view of him, but idolisation of her father contrasts with her disillusionment with men in general. But can Cassie remain completely immune and unaware of the truth?
Cassie also all through her life has had to deal with favouritism within the family. She was regarded as being inferior to the men. Cassie always had to play second fiddle to their needs and wants. “My mummy taught me how to raise my family. How to love them, how to spoil them.” Even now that her husband and brother has been taken and placed within the Kesh due to political activities Cassie still must run attentively after them delivering fruit as instructed by her mother. As she explains “poor Martin” and “poor Joe”. That’s all she is allowed to give them, all she can spoil them with”. I think that no matter how hard Cassie tries she will never be able to live up to the idyllic representation of the men and so leaves her with a sense of rejection.
Another aspect of Cassie life that I feel demanded sympathy from the reader was her marriage. Although Cassie claimed that she did not love Joe and is glad that he has been taken away from her “sure they did me a favour when they lifted him”. I do believe that this is just a faÃ§ade, if Cassie allows herself to be lured into the world of regrets and emotion she may feel her self trapped in reality, a place that holds far to much truth for any of the woman to deal with, especially Cassie.
In the course of the play I have noticed that although at certain points I have felt sympathy for Cassie there were moments when I began to doubt my emotions. I think that Cassie is a complex character and at points began to realise that Cassie can be very vindictive.
I first became aware of this when Cassie reveals that she had been having an affair with Marie’s husband, Michael. This play is about the search for truth yet the woman lie to betray each other. The friendship of Cassie and Marie, apparently strong and supportive, is founded on lies. Cassie betrays Marie by sleeping with her husband and describing it as “a window. Just a bit of excitement”. Cassie, although, having destroyed Marie’s illusions with a truth of her own, tries to comfort her with the words: “and he did always tell you the truth, but there is only so much of the truth anyone wants to hear”. Cassie at this point is attempting to use Marie’s desire for martial bliss to justify her affair. I think at this point my opinion of Cassie changed and for the first time I realised how vindictive and manipulative she could actually be.
In conclusion, this novel made me think about how fortunate I am to live in a secure area where I am distanced from the troubles of war, death and betrayal. In my opinion “Bold Girls” offers neither a sentimentalised picture of female friendship nor a caricature of male boorishness. It presents a picture of human beings struggling to survive in an environment which wears them down and destroys their youth and vitality. The play concludes with Marie’s realisation that what matters is not allocation of blame, but recognition that men and woman need each other. “I don’t think they know what they want at all or how to get it if they did. So they leave and we’ve it all to do but we’re missing each other even when we are together”