Explore and Compare the extent to which adult females in ‘Top Girls’ and ‘The Handmaid ‘s Tale’ are victims due to patriarchal power?
In this essay I will be comparing the drama ‘Top Girls’ with the novel ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ . Churchill’s ‘Top Girls’ shows us the place of adult females and how adult females were treated in Thatcher’s Britain in the 1980’s. ‘Top Girls’ is a drama that explores patriarchal power and in the effects through legion female characters. On the other manus Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaids Tale’ is set in the same age but in the USA. The Handmaids Tale falls in the 20th century tradition of anti-utopian and is a dystopian novel. This genre represents imagined universes and societies that are non perfect, but alternatively are restricted and terrorizing. Atwood wrote this novel shortly after the elections of Ronald Reagan in the United States and Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain. This was besides after the “sexual revolution” and how “religious rights” backlashed against it.
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Both ‘The Handmaids Tale’ and ‘top misss ‘share the subject of exploitation by patriarchal power and how it is imposed on the adult females in the yesteryear and today. We notice that the adult females in both plants are victims because we are shown that adult females are put through things that work forces do non hold to confront. Womans have a sawed-off sum of picks about whether they want to be homemakers and follow the ‘ethics of care’ or contending their manner through the ‘ethics of competition’ . Womans do non acquire the pick of being both parent and holding a calling an illustration of this is Marlene’s state of affairs, Marlene had to give being a female parent merely so she could work.
We see this through the characters Marlene and Pope Joan as they are victims of patriarchal Power. Marlene is presented as a successful lady but nevertheless she is a lonely arguably hardhearted adult female. Marlene is a victim because her success as a ‘boss’ is cancelled out by her failure as a female parent. When Angie says “I put this frock on to kill my mother” . We learn that this frock was a important gift from Marlene. And foreshadows the daze that Marlene is in fact Angie’s biological female parent and besides suggests how Angie does non cognize that Marlene abandoned her to trail her dreams in the metropolis. Unlike Pope Joan Marlene did non hold to really mask her gender to be successful, nevertheless Marlene had to mask her personality and background and emotions in order to go successful. From this we can see That Marlene is a victim from the power that she has gained. We emphasise for Marlene because she had to confront the effects that work forces do non hold to travel through. We Sympathise with Marlene because she had to give her kid for the ‘the career’ Life and when Mrs Kid says “you’re non natural” . However at other times she appears to be indurate and cold, for case when she says “I got drunk. You were merely overcome with grief “ . From this we can see that Marlene has different sides to her and patriarchal Power is victimizing her inner ego and is doing confusion in who she truly is. Churchill Uses the word ‘just’ in Marlene’s address to demo us that Marlene is being nonsubjective because Marlene is non-biased and is non allowing her feelings show. Marlene grew up in the 70’s when the pill to deliver control was available, this shows us that Marlene had a pick in whether She wanted to be a female parent or non. The 70’s was besides the decennary of feminism this links to how Marlene is a broad women’s rightist which clarified her character of an individualist.
The exploitation of adult females is besides a subject found in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale. Victimisation is shown in ‘The Handmaids tale’ when the sense of ego is made actual. For illustration when it says “the physician Will ne’er see my face” this shows us that the physician will ne’er be able to see her ‘face’ This shows us that she has no individuality hence a victim as the ‘face’ is usually the cardinal constituent In designation but non in Gilead. In add-on, offered describes her ‘torso’ as ‘a’ trunk. This is used alternatively of the genitive ‘my’ which signifies a deficiency of ownership and therefore a sense of ego. Furthermore, Offreds organic structure is ‘interscoped’ agencies to hold a plane divided by two traversing lines and to utilize this word to depict Offreds life is like a actual representation of the division of female individuality. In Atwood’s context adult females were divided consistently by the Neo-puritan moral bulk, in order to keep and stabilise patriarchal power. On the Other manus. Atwood’s intent may hold been to convey the loss of ownership. This relates to the dystopian genre because Atwood conveys the feelings of unhappiness and panic and this is the antonym of the utopia everyone dreams of.
In ‘Top Girls’ , the characters experience a similar loss of female individuality which besides Make them victims of patriarchal power. As Pope Joan isn’t “used to holding a women’s Body” . The fact that Pope Joan isn’t “used” to a females organic structure indicates an imposed spot upon this female. Pope Joan is a character who lives under regulations over a Christian-orientated patriarchal society, similar to the authorities of Gilead.
Churchill uses dual casting in ‘Top girls’ to demo associations between the characters. This Technique is used for the characters Lady Nijo and Win. Both these adult females have oriental Names which show us that they are linked. Both these characters are anti-feminists, Win Is in a relationship with a married adult male this shows us that she does non believe in sister goon and is a victim because a married adult male is taking advantage of her when he already has a married woman demoing us that adult females were non treated good an illustration of this is when Lady Nijo gets beaten up by the emperor but besides when the emperor allowed his attenders to crush her, Lady Nijo said “I hit him with a stick. Yes I hit him with a stick” when Lady Nijo says this she is depicting her payback to the emperor because he had allowed his workers to crush her and the other adult females up. Similarly Griselda was besides brought up at a clip when maltreatment to adult females was accepted. Lady Nijo normally allowed the emperor to mistreat her due to the society she lived in, but besides believed he took it excessively far when he allowed his attenders to crush her every bit good. This shows that adult females were non treated good but besides shows that adult females still knew when sufficiency was plenty. A similar state of affairs is besides go oning in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ when Offered and The Commander have meetings behind Serena Joys back. Churchill and Atwood do this to demo us how adult females behave towards each other and besides in state of affairss like this if adult females were able to work together they wouldn’t be victimised.
Lady Nijo is a victim because she has been put through a batch of subjugation in the past and is unsighted towards the power that is being held over her by work forces. Another manner to demo that these Womans are victims is how the full Moon ceremonial that Lady Nijo negotiations about links to the Ceremony in the handmaid’s narrative. Both present force and ritual. In the full Moon Ceremony lady Nijo negotiations about how the emperor would crush her. When she says “Marlene, That’s normal” this shows us that lady Nijo is blind to the fact that she is a victim. Besides shows us that she has no job with the emperor crushing her. Besides shows us that force is normalised and besides seen as ceremony.
Furthermore, Pope Joan is a victim because she thinks that she is rebarbative against patriarchal Power but really she is demoing that dressing like a adult male will acquire her power. Enforcing that adult females can non be successful and powerful. Her dressing like a adult male shows us that merely work forces are the 1s with power? “First I decided to remain a adult male. I was used to it” . This shows us that she is implementing that work forces are the 1s with power and she would instead be a adult male than a Woman. On the other manus this besides links to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ because of the character Moira, she was a rebellious character and lived life like a Rebel. But so we notice that she is now a Jezebel which helps us understand that she went against everything she of all time believed in and now there is no hope of acquiring out. This shows us that she is a victim because even Though she escaped the ‘red centre’ due to her beliefs she is now being used once more. Another Manner to demo that she is a victim is when she says “it’s non excessively bad, there’s a batch of adult females around. Butch Eden, you might name it” . This shows us that she doesn’t head that all her Power has been taken off and she is gone into harlotry. Atwood is seeking to demo that adult females give up easy and are victimised by patriarchal power and stop up reenforcing it in the terminal.
Both authors purpose is to demo that adult females will ever be treated otherwise to work forces. Even if they do all of things to alter how they are viewed patriarchal power will ever over take them. Besides to demo we that adult females ever have to do determinations that work forces do non hold to do In order to make their success. Churchill shows us that success is non Possible unless you lose something for illustration how Marlene had to give being a parent to be able to work and besides How Pope Joan had to alter her gender in order to delight people and be respected as a Catholic Pope. Both pieces of work portion similarities and differences in order to portion the message.