Explore Churchill’s Presentation of the Impact of Contemporary Ideology Upon Gender and Class in Top Girls. Compare and Contrast Your Findings with Similar Issues in Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting Essay
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The main contemporary ideologies presented using different techniques are those of Thatcher, in ‘Top Girls’ and ‘Trainspotting’, set in 1980s. Margaret Thatcher portrayed individual endeavour for success as most important rather than society working together especially for women whom she aimed to ‘liberate’ with her ideals. Thatcher made a political stand using a subtle allusion to Ronald Reagan’s ‘American Dream,’ so that the people would subscribe to her and her ideals. Both writers, Welsh and Churchill, criticise these contemporary ideologies presenting the absurdity but in some cases conforming to them by addressing impact on gender and class.
Marlene calls Thatcher; ‘Maggie’ – colloquial use of her name suggesting closeness, perhaps a metaphor for the incorporation of the prime minister’s ideology into society and presenting its strong impact on ordinary life, especially Marlene’s. Churchill however shows how this allusion to a return of the ‘stupendous eighties’ is unrealistic, Thatcher’s contemporary ideology doesn’t work for women or those of lower class unless they lose their identity but perhaps contrasting that it’s exactly this strong ideology that has enabled Marlene to succeed in a world of ‘monetarism.’ For example, Nijo doesn’t actually beat her husband but for the purpose of the play, to highlight the feminist theme, Churchill exaggerates - her thoughts and desires are so strong that they seem real. Nijo defies male dominance like Marlene breaks stereotypical male dominance by reaching ‘top’ through gaining the promotion over other male contenders. The embodiment of Marlene in the character of Nijo emphasises the loss of parts of Marlene’s identity. It’s ironic that Marlene sympathises with characters of Act1 and doesn’t realise the catharsis of her unconscious manifesting itself in this surreal scene. Again, presenting a negative impact of
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