Feminism In Literature

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“Top Girls” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” relate to contemporary political issues and feminism. Top Girls is regarded as a unique play about the challenges working women face in the contemporary business world. Churchill once wrote; ‘Playwrights don’t give answers, they ask questions’; she is proving this in Top Girls. She brings up many tough questions over the course of the play, including what success is and if women’s progress in the workplace has been a good or a bad thing. Margaret Atwood wrote a novel named The Handmaid’s tale, this is a novel that had been written from a feminist perspective. However, given that both the novel and the play are about feminism the difference in the time they were written and published has an impact on the way these authors see feminism, they express their knowledge, thoughts and feeling towards this topic through their characters. Churchill uses many characters to involve the audience, where as Atwood prefers to use one characters emotional narrative to convey her feelings and explore ideas. Churchill and Atwood both use various literary criticisms to show their anger at a particular society or way of life.

The rise of Thatcherism in the 1980s encouraged Churchill and Atwood to share their feelings in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Top Girls.’

Brechtian Theatre or the Theatre of Alienation is the form in which this play has been written. The first scene starts with six women, these women are said to have been important women from the past and have all come to meet at a restaurant, to celebrate Marlene’s success as a businesswoman.

Churchill makes the characters come across as women who are quite masculine and not very feminine. Their masculinity is shown through the way they speak and act, for...

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...choose between their femininity and the material world. She also criticizes the way women have had to stand on other women’s backs in order to get a little higher in a male dominated society.

The Aunts in ‘the Handmaid’s tale’ are infertile mostly older women who have been given the task of re-educating the handmaid’s to fulfil their duties to Gilead. These women are examples of women who conform to what society wants them to be which Atwood deeply criticized in the wake of a second wave of feminism. Within this dystopian literature Atwood uses different forms of satire to exaggerate the situation she saw in America and other parts of the world as very real. Women like Serena Joy wanted a society made up of traditional values and more protection for women, however ironically this ideology had turned itself around and has kept her trapped in her own madness.
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