The novel "Cassandra and the Wolf" is a modern take on Greek tragedy and like any other Greek tragedy, it is filled with curses, prophecies, and symbolism. What I found most interesting about the novel is the interesting, almost paradoxical circumstances that the protagonist Cassandra faces. One such instance is the fact that when she is around her father and people she is supposed to feel safe around, she does not.
On the contrary, she is denied her role as a seeress and no one believes her; she was raped and marginalized to the point where she became so heavily critical of herself and the world around her. The irony lies in the fact that she finally felt some freedom when she is made to live in the outskirts with other women. Another interesting thing to note is that the story is told through Cassandra's thoughts and visions. We as an audience live inside her heads and see her world through her eyes.
Interestingly, all the men portrayed in the novel, with the exception of Aeneas, are portrayed as villainous, repressive, and ignorant. For instance, she describes Achilles as evil and selfish, she is raped repeatedly by the head priest, she views Agamemnon as dangerous. Perhaps what is meant by this highly critical attitude towards men is showing repeatedly how their innate rash and narcissistic attitudes, especially towards women, leads to more tragedy.
When Cassandra refuses to sleep with Apollo, he curses her, making everyone around her think her visions of the futures were the babbling of an insane woman, which leads to war and despair. Quite literally, in the novel, the truth is laid out for all these powerful men and none of them ever take it upon themselves to prevent unnecessary and vicious events from occurring. What seems on the surface very obscure, improbable, and irritating, upon closer inspection is actually quite realistic and in some instances relatable.
The specificity of the novel may not apply to one's own life, but the themes of persecution based on gender and gender roles are quite familiar, making Cassandra's anecdotes even more engaging for the reader. This is not a happy novel, but as we've all learned by now, most of the important novels of our adult lives are not happy novels. Whether you use this novel to escape your reality or face your truth, overall, it's a good read.