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Mabel In Making History Contradicts Prevailing Attitudes Towards Women Shown In Top Girls

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Mabel In Making History Contradicts Prevailing Attitudes Towards Women Shown In Top Girls. Discuss. Tom Roberts In Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, our protagonist is a hard working, hard living woman called Marlene, who gives up many aspects of her life in order to obtain a successful career. She gives up a real family life and even a social life in order to be a 'top girl'. In Making History by Brian Friel, the character of Mabel is also shown to do something similar; she leaves behind her family, who are from a different religion and belief system, in order to marry a man of power and to become powerful herself. These contradicting attitudes are interesting to the audience because although the characters both do the same thing, they have different reactions to it. In Top Girls, Marlene gives up a child, a mother, and her sister in order to pursue her ideal life choice of running an employment agency. She moves away from her family in their little out of town village, and seemingly does not regret this very much. More importantly, she gives up her own child in order to live out her dreams in a big city, and seems to forget about the fact that she ...read more.


She then placed her with her sister in a small village where she probably would never grow up to become anything of success, due to her surroundings. The way the two women react at childbirth is very contradictory, and says a lot about their personality and attitude towards submission to patriarchy. Another way in which the attitudes present in the two plays are contradictory is how the two main women in them react to criticism and to being put down. In act 2 of Top Girls, when Marlene is being shouted at by Mrs. Kidd about how she should give up her job so that her husband can have it, and insults her, Marlene stands her ground against her, at first in a calm way, by saying 'i'm sorry but i have some work to do' and later by saying 'could you please piss off?'. She does not care about the fact that she is being insulted and put down by Mrs. Kidd, and goes about her business in a tough way. She has had to do this all her life in order to get to the position we find her in at this point; if she hadn't had a tough exterior, she would not have been able to become successful, as part of being successful is to be able to take criticism lightly. ...read more.


Through the use of love, or lack of in the case of Marlene, the respective authors have told us a great deal about the attitudes that the women have, and the attitudes with which they have presented. Marlene is shown to be a feisty, well kept woman who knows how to look after herself and does not need a lover or family to keep her stable, instead choosing to put all her efforts into her career. Contradictory to this, Mabel both misses her family and her old life (unlike Marlene) and has a deep need for Hugh, needing his consolation when she is upset, and eventually giving up her life so that she can provide him with a child. Friel wrote Mabel in this way to show how women were below men in every way in the time period when Making History was set, even when it came to things out of their personal control. Churchill presents an opposing attitude in Top Girls, and basically shows the audience how a woman can be just as successful as a man, but that they will have to make some serious sacrifices in order to obtain what they want in life. Overall, although on first glance Mabel and Marlene do not seem all that different, they are very contradictory in nature and their attitude towards men (and submission to) differs greatly. ...read more.

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