Top Girls

Femininity Interrupted: Churchill's Negative Critique of Powerful Women 12th Grade

In the play Top Girls, Churchill presents women with power as cynical as it is portrayed that they have abandoned their feminine attributes and womanhood to reach success through the use of male qualities. This idea is particularly evident in the main character of Marlene, as she gives up her daughter and motherhood to pursue a career and power. However, in the play Churchill also integrates characters with little power, such as Kit, to juxtapose the attitude and character type of those who possess power.

The pivotal character of the entire play, Marlene, is presented negatively yet she holds a lot of power in her workplace. She is shown to give away her child and the chance to be a mother to pursue a career. She seems cold and selfish as a character and shut off from any instinct of need for a family or love. This is particularly evident when Marlene is interviewing Jeanine in act two, as she advises Jeanine to stray from mentioning a family or wearing a ring in her interview, encouraging her you abandon traits that are common in women’s lives, as she sees that people will believe she cannot balance both. ‘Marlene: So you won’t tell them you’re getting married? / Jeanine: Had I better not? / Marlene: It would probably help’....

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