• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Play Writes section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Play Writes essays

  1. Protagonists in Top Girls (Caryl Churchill)

    What' is more, she makes her presence felt; participating in conversations, giving orders and clearly giving her opinions, as we see in the third act during her arguments with Joyce. It is thanks to the many dialogues in which she participates in that we learn so much about her background, which leads to her being a very well developed character.

  2. How does Carol Churchill explore the attitudes of women to work in Top girls ...

    When the other characters start to arrive, Isabella and Joan firstly, they begin to talk about they past affairs and relationships, Marlene is excluded her as she is not attached to anyone, she does not have a man in her life.

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

    This love is so strong that she converts religion to catholocism 'out of loyalty to hugh'. This is something Marlene would never do. This leads us on to another contradicting point between Marlene and Mabel; the fact that Marlene has seemingly never had a long-lasting relationship, and doesn't want one.

  2. What Made A Taste of Honey Dramatic

    Miscegenation was very much frowned upon by the upper classes. Increasingly lonely Jo invites Geoffrey, a gay man who she met at a fair to stay with her. The middle class audience are now confronted with homosexuality and although aware of its presence in their society.

  1. Scene by scene analysis of "Equus"

    In his helplessness, he starts again to sing a commercial song. Every time a question is not likeable to him, he sings. Maybe these questions deployed a bad memory and he wants to disperse them with singing. It?s a reaction of Alan to keep the people away from his interior.

  2. How important is context to our understanding of Churchill's Top Girls?

    ?Mind my hair you silly cunt?- Angie Silly and cunt contrasting, as in silly being a childish word and cunt, a ratter offensive and rude word that adults use. The child?s world is very small, showing the community being as if claustrophobic.

  1. Comment on Sherriff's presentation of Stanhope in the first two acts of Journey's End.

    the intensely personal fears Stanhope reveals to him and the way Osborne helps him into bed at the end of the scene. This prepares the audience for the sympathy they?ll feel for Stanhope upon Osborne?s death; for Stanhope, he is simultaneously a father figure and a confidant.

  2. Through the selection of three characters in 'Journey's End' examine how Sherriff presents human ...

    Hibbert, however, appears to be the opposite. He is "small and slightly built", suggesting that he is physically weak (and probably mentally as well), contrasting with the powerful, commanding presence of Stanhope in his "well cut" uniform. Hibbert's "little moustache" implies that with his failure to grow a "real" moustache, he is also a failure in life.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work