• 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. How does Macbeths portrayal change throughout the play?

    "Is this a dagger which I see before me,/The handle toward my hand?/ Come, let me clutch thee./I have thee not, and yet I see thee still. (II,i,33-35)... ". I see thee still,/And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,/Which was not so before."

  2. Theme of violence and hatred in Romeo and Juliet

    The Friar's plan has gone wrong and Romeo believes Juliet is really dead instead of sleeping. He goes to her tomb in Verona to poison himself and be by her side. However, he is not the only mourner. Paris is there before him.

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

    The narrator is also constantly helping her father with work instead of helping her mother and right after the narrator says " My father had just come from the meat house; he had his stiff bloody apron on, and a pail of cut-up meat in his hand"(101).

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

    In other words, since he gave up on love, the narrator has become paralyzed, just like the characters became paralyzed in the other stories. Another literary tool that Joyce uses to illustrate that the characters are trapped is irony. In "The Sisters," Joyce uses chalice as an object to illustrate irony.

  1. family relationships in hedda

    so that "Hedda shan't be ashamed of me if we go out together"4. Jorgen, rather than admonishing her for her servility, proceeds to congratulate his aunt on taking this measure; there exists a pronounced, mutually acknowledged class divide. Miss Julie is also defined by her father's rank; the subject provides

  2. 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.

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