How does Caryl Churchill present women in Acts 2 and 3 of Top Girls?

Essay by EleanorLoveHigh School, 12th grade November 2014

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How does Caryl Churchill present women in Acts 2 and 3 of Top Girls. What types of characters are seen here? What is their purpose and how do they reflect the play's social implications?

Caryl Churchill portrays a variety of contrasting characters in Acts 2 and 3 of Top Girls and by using the roles they play within society, she makes references to the influence of Thatcherite sensibilities and differing socialist and capitalist ideals in 1980's Britain. Churchill wrote the play as a response to the election of Margret Thatcher as she worried that Thatcher's right wing politics benefited a minority of wealthy Britons while leaving the less fortunate behind, so the play voices her concerns regarding social emphasis on capitalist success over sisterly solidarity. Top Girls asks 'Is it more important to break out of a cycle of poverty and 'make something of yourself', or to fulfil your responsibilities to your family and community?, this subconscious questioning in the play left the initial 80's audience to question whether or not the shift from a socialist mind-set to a capitalist emphasis was an threatening change which could drastically affect women fight for equality in Britain.

The first scene in Act 2 depicts Kit and Angie as two very different girls from the younger generation of Britain, Kit being 12 and Angie 16 years of age, there is a significant age gap, although it is dissimilar to the difference in maturity levels between the girls. It's clear that Kit is more mature beyond her age and more so than Angie, as she is concerned about the potential outbreak of war and how she would survive it. Kit is also ambitions and is striving towards becoming a nuclear physicist whereas Angie, in Joyce's eyes, will either have to rely on a man...