White biting dog

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Independent Study Unit- White Biting Dog by Judith Thompson
Presented by Milu Minnes

Character List and Analysis
Cape is an intensely manipulative and suicidal 26 year old man. He had been married, with a successful position as a lawyer making good money, but could not bring himself to care about any of it. He plays on the emotions and vulnerabilities of others and exploits them for his ownpurposes. His mother named him Sonny at birth, but Cape has since changed his name, telling her that he “got sick of the name you named me ‘cause your mind was a blank.’ ” He renames himself Cape Race, after the south-eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland. It is important to consider the history of Cape Race; although it is not fully covered in the play, the individual and thelocation share some interesting similarities; Cape Race is best known for its major land-based wireless station that was used in the early 20th century to relay messages to ships at sea and news telegrams to other parts of North America. The character Cape is very similar in that he relays messages back and forth between his parents. It is barren, plain and emotionless, just like its human counterpart.Glidden is Cape’s father. He is dying from a disease contracted through his constant interaction with sphagnum moss because of his love for gardening. He is mischievous and a prankster, but has also been unassuming and kind for most of his unremarkable life, which has allowed for others to take advantage of him. He only realizes in his later years that people are constantly patronizing him andtries to deflect it. He is lost without his wife, Lomia, who has left him to seek more exciting things.
Pony is a seemingly sweet and good-natured small-town girl who seeks to do something important and special with her life. She meets Cape when she wanders away from home on a long walk and finds him distressed over his father’s state. She claims to have psychic powers and helps Cape tounderstand exactly what he must do to save his father’s life and in doing so, his own. She is a tragic victim of Cape’s manipulation and cruelty and her character suffers an intense transformation for the worse after spending too much time with him.
Lomia is Glidden’s ex-wife, a ridiculous, affected and juvenile woman who is obsessed with appearances (particularly her own). She is capable of being bothsubmissive and malicious when she asserts her power over someone. She is quick to speak and rash in her decision making.
Pascal is Lomia’s younger, timid and intelligent lover. He tries his hardest to appeal to the world and make the most of his experiences and has built a hip persona around an idea of who he wants to be. He too suffers a great change in his personality after spending too muchtime around this deeply flawed family.

The story’s central character is Cape, a suicidal and unstable young man. He has moved in with his father after abandoning his prior life as a successful and married lawyer. Despite his comfortable lifestyle, he could not bring himself to feel emotions the way everyone else did and grew tired of faking normalcy, frustrated by the fact that it cameso easily to everyone around him. Fed up with the circumstances, Cape decides to jump off of a bridge and end his life. He has made up his mind and is preparing himself to do this when suddenly a small white dog appears at his side and speaks to him. The dog urges him not to jump and says that he will be jumping straight to hell; he tells Cape that the young man is unsatisfied with his lifebecause he has not completed his mission, which is to save his father from death. Cape does not jump and becomes desperate to save his father, hoping that in turn his life will also even itself out. After one particularly frightening night when his father becomes very weak, Cape prays feverishly for the white dog to appear and to help him figure out what he can do to keep his father alive. He begins...
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