Friday, July 19, 2019

Investigate notions of sisters and sisterhood within Top Girls :: English Literature

Investigate notions of sisters and sisterhood within Top Girls In Act 1 the women at the dinner party, speak of their suffering in the past, but they all relate to Marlene and to each other as a sisterhood of the present, even though the women represent contemporary figures supposedly alive in the early 1980’s in England. Lady Nijo and Pope Joan are similar in that they both had babies in difficult situations, and both stood up for their rights as women. The portrayal of these women contrasts with the traditional and ‘classical’ representation of women in plays. In the past women characters have been presented as dependent on men and limited by the conversations of a male dominates world. A typical example of this is seen in Hamlet by William Shakespeare, with both Gertrude and Ophelia saying ‘I will obey my lord’ however in Top Girls the characters think independently and believe in themselves and show support for their sisters. The characters are individualised which is dramatically interesting as they open to a new experience on the stage. The modern women is shown in Top Girls to be living in the time of shifting priorities and expectations, challenging the female ‘roles’. An example of this is Louise in act 2 saying, ‘She has a different style, she’s a new kind†¦Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ Many themes that run throughout Top Girls relate to the time when the play was written. An example of this and also an example of sisters in the play is the argument between Joyce and Marlene. Marlene is an individualistic and through her own determination and effort has managed to lift herself out of working class environment to middle class. Class structure, as seen by Marlene, is the cause of oppression and the row between the sisters is exaggerated and simplified with Marlene saying ‘I hat the working class’ and Joy replying ‘ I spit when I see a Rolls Royce.’ Marlene shows support for Thatcher saying ‘She’s a tough lady, Maggie†¦. Certainly gets my vote.’ Which can be interpreted as, her own success could have been due to the encouragement and initiative of an individual. Act 3 reveals aspects of Marlene’s life that could be questioned. She left home at the age of 17, she cut herself of from all family ties, she hasn’t been home for 6 years and Angie’s arrival in the office is a complete inconvenience to her. In many respects Joyce can be interpreted as a failure too, she is worn out, let down by her husband and has a mixed success to look after Angie. The history of the sister’s social and family background is grim.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.