Caryl Churchill Top Girls

Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

The major themes in Caryl Churchill's 'Top Girls'

Created by andrewmanzi over 5 years ago
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Caryl Churchill Top Girls
1 Political Drama
1.1 "Most plays can be looked at from a political perspective ... it usually only gets noticed and called 'political' if it's against the 'Status-Quo.'"
1.2 Margaret Thatcher in power as PM
1.2.1 Upcoming General Election
1.2.2 Aftermath of the Falkland's War
1.2.3 Controversial figure even today Death in 2013 Divisive similar to Marlene
2 Social Class
2.1 Hard work rewarded - regardless of circumstances
2.1.1 Utopian / Thatcherite
2.1.2 Individual's fault if they are not where they want to be
2.2 Marlene and Joyce
2.2.1 Joyce looks after Marlene's biological child Single-parent scapegoated Underclass Opposite of what Marlene is striving for
2.2.2 Joyce is a representation of working-class society Unsympathetic Cannot understand Kit's academic ambition Doesn't believe Angie has any options "She's one of those girls who might never leave home"
2.2.3 Marlene abandons her daughter to pursue career ambition System won't allow for a single parent Ambitious / Doesn't want to be considered as in the 'underclass'
3 Feminism
3.2 Career Ambition
3.2.1 Marlene abandons family to pursue career
3.2.2 Hard work / talent rewarded - regardless of circumstances Relationship and family will make women undesirable in the corporate world Thatcherism Sex not a issue
3.3 What is Feminism
3.3.1 Equality? Individual or collective? Cost of individual success Others and self Margaret Thatcher Only Female PM Never appointed female minister to cabinet
3.3.2 Own Success? Marlene unwilling to promote women who do not share her values No career ambition or want of family = inferior Is Marlene an example of Feminism Success? Opportunity open to all girls or just those on top
3.4 Title
3.4.1 Opportunity and ambition for women
3.4.2 Immaturity -> "Girls"
3.4.3 Eliteism
3.5 Class and Economics contextulise feminism
4 Speech
4.1 Act 1 Dinner
4.1.1 Allows women to voice their stories Woman all speaking over each other Eager to tell their own story Do not listen to each others' Ironic Role of Silence Lack of solidarity and support amongst the women Waitress is left voiceless Serves all the other women present Individualist Some women (Nijo/Griselda) do not question the actions of the men until promted
4.1.2 Defies the logic of historical, chronological and spatial representation
4.1.3 Women all connected through patriarchal oppression
4.2 Marlene and Joyce interrupting each other in the final scene
4.2.1 The sisters do not listen to each other Resentment between the pair
4.3 Silence is rare
5 Time
5.1 Marlene focused with time
5.1.1 Introduced at the beginning of the play "Table for six, one of them's going to be late" "I haven't time for a holiday"
5.1.2 Awareness of the passing of time Concern for what's going to happen but hasn't yet / doesn't
5.2 Structure of play as a whole
5.2.1 Continuity of time Act I Dinner Party Women from different points in history all together Marlene doesn't appear to remember the dinner party in Act II or III, even as a dream Co-exist on different planes rather than connect in any physical way Aristotle: Unities of time and place
5.2.2 Churchill breaks liner concept of time Cinematic Flashback Act III before Act II Hindsight causes us to re-evaluate the action on Act II