In ‘Bold Girls’, by Rona Munro, the various characters have their own unique ways of coping with their miserable lives. Write an essay in which you do the following:-

· Name TWO characters from ‘Bold Girls’ and describe how their everyday lives are miserable.
· Show how each of the women has a way of coping with the situation.
· Show how each of them is made to face the truth about their lives and what, or who, it is that makes them face reality.
· Use some quotation in your answer.
· Make sure you give your thoughts and feelings about the characters.
Rona Monro’s play ‘Bold Girls’ is set in Belfast during the era of ‘The Troubles’ and concerns the lives of four women in a Catholic area, showing how they deal with the harsh reality of their situation. In this essay I am going to analyse two of the main characters, describe how miserable their lives are, how they cope and what happens when they have to face the truth about their lives.
The first character is the main one, about whom the play revolves; Marie. A young widow of about 36, she has two children and has to bring them up alone after the death of her husband some 3 ½ years earlier whilst he was involved with the IRA. As well as the personal and financial burdens caused by her widowhood, Marie has to cope with the fact that, as the widow of a so-called ‘war hero’ she has a certain status within the Nationalist/Catholic/Republican community of West Belfast. As a result, she is both admired by some and victimised by others. For example, as the widow of a known IRA ‘foot soldier/terrorist’ the authorities such as the British Army, continue to be suspicious of her so she appears to be under dual pressures here – to play the part of a loyal IRA sympathiser but also trying not to arouse the enmity of the Army who search her house and cause disruption to her family and home as a result. When you add the frustration she feels (as shown by comments about the ‘kitten knickers’ she wears) then life as a young woman with physical needs but unable to ease that frustration (because to take a lover would betray her husband’s honoured memory) must make life miserable indeed.
People cope with miserable lives or situation in different ways. Some seek solace in drugs or drink; others try to make the best of things and try to portray a positive image or outlook on life. In Marie’s case she escapes her grim, everyday reality by dreaming. Instead of facing the truth she has created a dream world in her imagination where she and her husband were very much in love and her life was perfect. She also dreams of escape, feeding birds and wondering if she will ever be able to fly away herself. For her a night out at the Club is a temporary escape as she cannot enjoy herself too much or the community will express displeasure and cause even more problems.
But it is after a night out and a long talk with her best friend Cassie that things change for Marie. Despite receiving many strong hints during Act 3 with Cassie, Marie tries to ignore her suspicions about her husband until she and Cassie argue violently in Act 4 and the truth of Michael’s and Cassie affair is finally revealed. At the same time, another unwelcome truth is revealed by the appearance of Michael’s probable daughter, Deidre, the result of a different affair. The betrayal by her best friend and the arrival of a child of her husband’s infidelity serve to increase the worst betrayal of all; that of her husband, who dying as he did at the hands of someone who ‘took the lying head off him has ensured Marie cannot escape the family and friends who betrayed her without angering her community. Once again she retreats into her dream world where everything is the way she wants it, not how it actually is.
The other major character in this play that I am going to analyse is Cassie.
594 words in 45 minutes. About two thirds of the way through the essay.