Caryl Churchill's 'Top Girls' - feminism vs. culture

Caryl Churchill's 'Top Girls' - feminism vs. culture

by Alisa Westermann

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Overview

Seminar paper from the year 2010 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,7, University of Münster (Englisches Seminar), course: From Page to Stage, language: English, abstract: Caryl Churchill's play Top Girls, particularly its first act, centers on various women from history, fiction, art and mythology who gather in a restaurant to celebrate the promotion of Marlene, the protagonist of the play. Above all, this dinner scene is marked by a lack of understanding between the characters and the unability of each one to change into the others' perspective. The juxtaposition of the figures finally ends up in a collaps of the conversation and a monologisation of their dialogues. This lack of understanding is based on the different cultural backgrounds of each character. Everyone is part of a different society that is based on different norms and values which eliminates the possibility of a change of the character's perspective. The question, my term paper is based on, is how far feminist criticism is valid regarding the tension between culture and feminism. In this respect, it is necessary to examine the cultural backgrounds and the respective existence of a feminist's movement in the cultures of the characters. A valid feministic judgement on the characters can only be given when they are analysed in the light of their culture and afterwards opposed to each other. Therefore, the literature I took into account focuses on historical information of the characters' cultures, especially women's cultural history. Furthermore, I analysed literature on Caryl Churchill as well as women dramatists in Britain and the feministic movement. I examined how far each woman of the dinner scene can be valuated as a feminist or as having a feministic attitude and often, this feministic attitude is not a general characteristic but rather a characteristic which is connected to a certain domain of their culture. Hence, I extracted three areas in which this tension between the characters' cultures and their feministic attitude are surfaced: their relation to men,their family and domestic life and their working life. Yet, instead of examining each character in each category, I concentrated on those characters that stood out in their behaviour and opposed them to each other.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783640935031
Publisher: GRIN Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/2011
Sold by: CIANDO
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 20
File size: 91 KB

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