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Explore how Carol Churchill presents woman in the role of mother in "Top Girls".

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Introduction

Jessica Rape English Literature Explore how Carol Churchill presents woman in the role of mother in "Top Girls". You should consider: * Griselda and Nijo * Joyce, Marlene and Angie (Act Two Scene Two and Act Three.) In the first act, Churchill has created a surreal environment for all of the women. We find, during the course of the meal, that all of the women have things in common. Each of the women had children apart from Isabella. Lady Nijo and Griselda however, had to live without knowing their children because of their husbands, in both cases the husbands removed the children. Dull Gret is slightly different, she experienced living with her children and bringing them up, however her oldest and youngest were killed during war. Pope Joan does not know what happened to her baby, as she was stoned to death as soon as she gave birth, she assumes they killed it. Marlene, the leader of the women had a completely different story to tell, however she does not talk of it during Act One. Marlene became pregnant at 17 and let her sister, Joyce adopt the baby because at the time Joyce could not become pregnant. Marlene has since, had two abortions. Griselda, Lady Nijo and Marlene are all similar in the fact that they all had to sacrifice their children for a particular reason. ...read more.

Middle

Lady Nijo does not appear as hurt and as faithful to her children as Griselda did to hers, this is probably because Griselda spent a short time with her children and Nijo did not. Lady Nijo's first baby was Akenbono's, a girl and he received it and brought it up with his wife. Her second, was to an unknown and the third and fourth children were Ariake the priests. Nijo never saw her third child after it was born and admits feeling nothing at all for her third son, her fourth child. I think that this is because Ariake had died before the birth and she was still grieving him, "I didn't want to see anyone." In Act Two Scene Two we are introduced to Marlene, a character brought in from Act One, Joyce, Marlene's sister, Angie, Joyce's daughter and Marlene's niece and Kit, Angie's friend. The following scene concentrates mainly on Marlene's niece, Angie and her younger friend, Kit. We begin to realise that Angie maybe slightly "simple" and troubled as she talks to Kit about controlling objects with her mind and things falling from the walls in her house, "Last night I was in bed and suddenly a picture fell down off the wall." The pair continually ignore Angie's mother, Joyce, shouting them from the house. This shows disrespect of the children to their mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

I feel that this shows that Marlene does not know how much Joyce has done for her. She obviously does not appreciate that Joyce has brought Angie up the best that she could so that Marlene could move away and concentrate on her career. Joyce begins to take ownership of Angie as the argument continues, showing that she has a bond with her child, motherly love. "Course I do, she's my child." Instead of moving away and getting a job and making money, Joyce took Marlene's baby and gave it a life. The relationship between Marlene and Joyce begins to break up as the two begin to blame each other for the mistakes they have made in life, "I did get pregnant and I lost it because I was so tired looking after your fucking baby." The Act ends with Joyce and Marlene apologising and Joyce going to bed, leaving Marlene alone to have another drink. Angie then wakes up calling for her mother and walks downstairs, when Angie realises that its Marlene sat there and Joyce has gone to bed she only mutters two words, "frightening" "frightening". This symbolises Angie's weirdness and simple mindedness. Is she speaking about the conversation between Joyce and Marlene or is she speaking about the fact that she thought Marlene was her mother ? ...read more.

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