Cassandra has much more of a polished practicality to her writing routine, in that she devotes a little time every day to filling her diary with words that explore her eccentric family, the world around them, and the everyday trials of living penniless in a ramshackle castle upon her father’s whims. She concerns herself with practical matters, such as where the next meal is coming from, how she is perched in the kitchen sink and staring out the window, and how she might aid her sister to provide for them all in her choice of a husband. She is often frustrated with her father in his inability to provide for them, and annoyed by her stepmother’s eccentricities. She is painfully aware of how others are responding to her, and her sister, and her weird parents, and wishes she could shape their behavior to be more appropriate to the situation. She admits that she wishes they could afford to send Rose to the cinema, so she could learn how to behave with people. Cassandra falls in love with the man Rose is going to marry, but refuses to do anything with him, because it would be a betrayal of her sister—in that moment, she thinks of her first. Though she keeps a lot of her feelings to herself, Cassandra is also forthright in them, telling various men she does not love them and will not settle for second best in her relationship, chastising her father for not writing a single word in twelve years when his family relies on him to provide an income, and writing down all her feelings in her journal. She analyzes and ponders her thoughts and feelings to excess, wondering at things, and trying to figure out why things happen the way they do. Cassandra mostly writes about her life, but also admits to having fantasies in which, because she has not had an experience, her mind “goes blank.” Once she falls in love, she has different variations of the same fantasy. But Cassandra proves herself a little short-sighted; she never once imagines Rose is in love with the wrong person, so their running away together catches her off guard, and doesn’t consider that his aggressive teasing of her implies the same.

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Cassandra does an awful lot of thinking, pondering, and imagining, all about how to provide for her family’s needs, stay loyal to her father, be more appropriate around strangers, etc. She tries to come at love from a logical perspective, admitting early on that the world is far too dangerous as it is to bother with love, then falling in it, and finding herself relieved later to have “been” in love, thus opening herself up to it in the future. She at first has a pragmatic view of what her sister is doing, in seeking a husband for profit, but as she falls in love with the man Rose is going to marry, becomes far less detached and critical, calling that an “awful” thing to do (to marry him for his money). When another man criticizes her sister and tells Cassandra she is a “gold digger,” Cassandra feels a need to defend her sister, and reassure him that Rose may have thought that way before, but has since fallen in love with him (as if she needs to prove herself and her sister to him). She worries about how to pay the rent and about her father not earning money, but also has an idealistic need to support him and stand up for him that turns into accusations when he fails to be a decent father. She is far more logical and practical than any of her siblings, but also more withdrawn.