S-Cool Revision Summary

S-Cool Revision Summary

Ways of Seeing

Top Girls is a play concerning feminism and socialism. It is a play concerning choice and restriction, both because of gender and politics.

Churchill uses stark techniques to foreground her main issues: the choices available to women, in the workplace, in their sex lives, as well as in their personal lives. She critiques the behaviour of certain men throughout history, and the expectations of men in modern society. However, she does not say that the behaviour of men and misogyny throughout time are the only reasons for women's suffering. The conditioning of women, and their own naivety to their rights and the rights of other women as equals, is critiqued, especially in the modern world. The references to the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, is an obvious example of a woman who has achieved in her career, and raised children, but who has not improved her society.

The situations in the lives of the main characters are very miserable and negative, but the play is uplifting and forward-looking in its presentation of the dilemmas involved.

Character summaries

Marlene
Copyright S-cool Is happy with her achievements and knows what she wants
Copyright S-cool Has fought for her right to achieve as a woman in the workplace
Copyright S-cool Spends her life escaping from the standards she grew to resent as a child: her life is determined by her own ambitions
Copyright S-cool Assumes others should share her outlook
Joyce
Copyright S-cool Is doggedly loyal
Copyright S-cool Is independent
Copyright S-cool Is very bitter and transfers this negative attitude onto others
Copyright S-cool Does not realise how she might affect others
Angie
Copyright S-cool Is an independent thinker
Copyright S-cool Has intelligence
Copyright S-cool Has no real direction in life
Copyright S-cool Has a negative outlook on life

Major Areas of Study

Feminism...

Socialism...

Past and Present...

Equality...

Language and communication...

Entrapment...

Sample Questions

'We've come a long way. To our courage and the way we have changed our lives and our extraordinary achievements'. Give your interpretation of Marlene's words in relation to the characters achievements.

How far does Top Girls show the limitations of women within British society? Is this a pessimistic view?

Discuss the character of Angie, and her function in the play overall.

Top Girls is a play concerned with the relationships between women. How far do you think there is unity between the characters of the play, and where do you find lack of support?