Cathy Whitaker seems to lead the quintessential life of a 1950’s housewife with her maid, Mrs. Magnatech title, her two children and successful businessman husband, Frank. Cathy is depicted as a”happy go lucky” mother to her husband, even when she discovers his homosexuality. Although Frank lashes out at Cathy, constantly yelling at her and eventually slapping her in the face, Cathy still manages to maintain her composure and refer to Frank as “darling”. During this time period woman, such as Cathy, were the property of their husbands. They had no bank accounts, no domestic laws to protect them and much more. This meant lack of personal freedom.
On the exterior Cathy might seem like she has her whole life together, however on the inside she is yearning to find authenticity. As Cathy meets her black gardner Raymond and discovers more about him, the greater her desire to find herself becomes. When Raymond and Cathy go to the restaurant in their town of Hartford Connecticut, Raymond states, “This is a very welcoming place.” Ironically, both the white woman in the car judges the interracial friends as well as the black workers in the restaurant. This shows that the level of openness in both black and white communities was limited.
As the rumors about the two fly around town, Cathy loses her closest friend, husband and new friend Raymond. Although Cathy was able to stand up for herself when on the phone with Frank by saying “You could never remember my car pool days,” it lasted for only a brief period of time. Frank continues on with his life with a man and Raymond is able to escape from Hartford to Baltimore. Yet Cathy still remains boxed in a community filled with the closed-minded upper class.