Study Guide

Cassia's Official in Matched

By Ally Condie

Cassia's Official

Cassia's Official isn't your typical character. Honestly, we really know almost nothing about her outside of her job description, which is basically to threaten Cassia and make her life miserable on behalf of the Society. She's the kind of person that says "'poison is unbelievably humane'" (30.89) without batting an eye. In other words, the Official is one of those sinister characters that inexplicably causes heart palpitations in everyone she speaks to. As Cassia tells us:

Then she turns her gaze on me and I feel my heart racing, my pulse pounding clear to my fingertips. (22.25)

Very little scares Cassia, so it's notable that she has this visceral reaction to the Official. The Official's other favorite pastime is mocking Cassia and assuring her that everything unique to her identity is totally predictable and they've seen it seventy-eight times before. Cassia says at one point:

I hate the Officials most when they do this: they act as if they have seen it all before, as if they have seen me before. (22.32)

Acting this way is a means of control, of sending Cassia the message that she's not special and she can't outwit the system—Cassia realizes her Official doesn't know everything though (more on that over in Cassia's analysis elsewhere in this section). In a final act of sadism, Cassia's Official catches her skipping the red pill after Ky is sent off and smiles creepily, letting Cassia suffer with the memory of what she's done to Ky. When Cassia explains why—"She wants me to remember what happened here. What I've done" (29.85)—we know that the Official officially has an appetite for destruction.

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