Caryl Churchills Top Girls

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Book Report/Review
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Caryl Churchill wrote Top Girls in three Acts in 1982. The title gives the impression that the play is about successful girls. The women are referred to as girls because they are immature. They each think they have attained some measure of success in their lives…

Introduction

Her success comes at a price. She tells Isabelle Bird, the first guest to arrive, that she has no time to go away on a holiday although she would like to. A woman who is chained to her work desk does not seem to be like a successful woman.
Isabelle thinks she is successful because of her vast travel experiences. She prides herself on being correct in as many matters as possible. She thinks highly of herself because she has met the Emperor of Morocco, has a clergyman father, and got married only at the advanced age of fifty after she lost her father. When she lost her father, she replaced him with a husband. A woman who depends on men for her self esteem is not a successful one.
Lady Nijo joins the party and she talks about her successful past serving her Emperor. Nijo is aware that she has been made used of as her Emperor's mistress but she is proud of her social status. Her superficiality shows when she mentions that it is her accorded privilege to wear thin silk. When Nijo professes her repentance by becoming a travelling nun, Marlene challenges her by reminding her that she has used her own will in her choice and that Nijo's practices of a nun does not fall into the normal conventions of a nun. Marlene acts like a hostess and moderator in this dinner conversation. Nijo does not really regret her past life. She still revels in it by the way she talks about it. ...
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