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

Throughout both Top Girls and The Beauty Queen of Leenane McDonagh and Churchill present parent child relationships as being destructive; a demise caused by deceit.

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast the presentations of relationships between parents and children in Top Girls and other drama texts you have read about the struggle for identity in modern literature. How far do you agree with the idea that such relationships are destructive? Throughout both Top Girls and The Beauty Queen of Leenane McDonagh and Churchill present parent child relationships as being destructive; a demise caused by deceit. During Top Girls, Angie's discovery of the identity of her true biological mother, Marlene, results in a destructive relationship with her adoptive mother, Joyce. This theme is exaggerated further in The Beauty Queen of Leenane where Mag's duplicitous relationship with Maureen sees her desire for control result in the act of matricide. The most obvious cause of destruction in the relationships is deceit. In The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Mag hides Pato's letter from Maureen causing her relationship with him to fail. Maureen discovers her mother's dishonesty when Mag accidentally reveals her knowledge of the situation resulting in her admittance that "[she] did burn it!" This revelation causes the destructive emotion of anger in Maureen and is the end to her relationship with Mag. Similarly, in Top Girls, Angie is lied to about the circumstances of her birth. ...read more.


Despite Pato seeing "no shame in that at all", McDonagh uses stage directions to suggest that Mag is embarrassed as she talks "quietly". Due to both daughters being isolated, the feeling of humiliation is heightened and causes long lasting destruction in the form of low self esteem. In Top Girls, Angie has no job, and according to Joyce is "not going to get a job, when jobs are hard to get". Her decision to leave school means she no longer has a reason to leave the house, and will not meet any new people. In The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Maureen is trapped with her mother and similarly has no job or many friends. Mag tells her "you don't say hello to people is your trouble" suggesting that she is a reserved character. Again this would mean that the humiliation regarding Pato would be focused on by her as her first and only love interest. Both daughters also appear to be subject to disapproval from their mothers. Both playwrights use dress to illustrate this. In Top Girls, Angie receives a dress from her birth mother, Marlene. Throughout the scene Joyce does not compliment Angie or the dress and merely tells her to "Go to [her] room then, [as they] don't want a strip show." ...read more.


and starts slowly pouring some of the hot oil over it". Maureen is established as a violent character who continues to torture her mother whilst she "screams in pain and terror". This use of "in yer face" theatre allows McDonagh to shock the audience. The brutality peaks as it is revealed that Maureen has killed Mag when "she finally topples over and falls heavily to the floor, dead." This violence is particularly disturbing as Maureen appears to show no guilt or remorse for her actions as she "looks down at [Mag], somewhat bored ... then steps onto her back" as she leaves the room. This physical act represents Maureen's feeling of triumph over her dead mother, as she feels that through the murder of her mother the destructive cycle has ended. In conclusion, both playwrights convey destruction within the parent child relationships. This destruction is caused by deceit and manipulation initiated by the parents but further adopted by the daughters, often to more violent ends. During both plays, this cycle is portrayed as vicious and continuous. In Top Girls the chronological end to the play provides none of the characters with happiness or liberty. Similarly in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, although Maureen believes she is free from her mother, it is apparent to the audience that instead she has simply become her mother. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 5 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Dubliners is a series of short stories written by James Joyce. Joyce wrote these ...

    The description of this activity shows that there is no hope for them even when they are playing. Then when the main character sees Mangan's sister, her description is different, he always sees her in the morning, where there is light, a chance of escape.

  2. How does Macbeths portrayal change throughout the play?

    Macbeth unlike his wife cannot handle the act he had just committed. This act shows the audience the Macbeth is still weak and afraid, even after committing murder. This comes as a surprise to the audience, as Macbeth was able to rile up the courage to murder, but after carrying

  1. The View of Gender through Setting and Language In Boys and Girls by ...

    When the narrator sings songs at night with her younger brother she chooses to sing "Danny Boy" which references the male gender. Another reference to the male gender is when the narrator is describing the fox pens and says "Each of them had a real door that a man could go through".

  2. family relationships in hedda

    the main source of comment when Jean observes how she (a member of the aristocratic family of the household) is happy to dance with her social inferiors: "I just popped into the barn to watch the dancing, and who do I see but Miss Julie leading the dance with the gamekeeper"5.

  1. Blais evokes the destructive nature beneath the surface of beauty and vanity through Isabelle-Marie, ...

    As Isabelle-Marie returns to the house after a tedious and draining day of working in the fields, she discovers Patrice and Louise resting and living without worry. She feels envious that her brother is receiving royal treatment, while she serves as the slave.

  2. Sonnet 130 shows the romanticized image of ideal beauty in Shakespeares time strongly mirrors ...

    which most women were known for in their culture. According to Anglo Saxons, women "eyes should sparkle and be light blue or grey...the cheeks white or red...hair should be blond and fine like gold wire..." (92). It's genetically impossible for everyone to be born with blond hair and blue eyes, so the solution to solve that problem was to wear herbal essences as make-up.

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