Caryl Churchill's Top Girls by Alicia Tycer

By Alicia Tycer

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Extra resources for Caryl Churchill's Top Girls

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Characteristics of postmodernity include the use of pastiche, fragmentation and irony. Pastiche means that the work refers to the styles of previous works or eras without evoking their historical weight. Therefore, postmodernism has an aesthetic characterized by surface instead of depth. 28 Analysis and Commentary 45 Critics who see Top Girls as postmodern have tended to reference the dinner scene, with its fragmented dialogue and incongruous, often humorous juxtapositions. However, postmodernity has not often been associated with political movements, because it questions such fixed notions as truth and identity.

The act starts with Angie opening the presents that Marlene has bought for Joyce and Angie. Angie unwraps the blue dress that she wore in the earlier backyard scene. She joyfully tries the dress on, which fits her at that time. Meanwhile, it becomes clear that Angie has manipulated the sisters into meeting by misleadingly telling Marlene that Joyce wanted her to visit. The two women scold Angie for deceiving them, but she reminds them that the last time her aunt visited was for her ninth birthday.

Like many women of her generation, Mrs Kidd became a traditional domestic wife, depending 34 Caryl Churchill's Fop Girls on her husband for economic support. She insults Marlene and other career women who had more opportunities than she did, and views feminism as de-legitimizing her choices. Mrs Kidd is particularly emotional because her husband takes his career frustrations out on her, and she is extremely worried about her husband s fragile health. Win Win is one of Marlene's co-workers, who is well educated and was a high achiever at school, where she got a science degree.

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