Presentation of Marlene, Top Girls in Comparison to the Presentation of Serena Joy, Handmaid's Tale.

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The main themes in both Top Girls and The Handmaid’s Tale are feminism, politics and women’s role in society. Top Girls is based on social realism and political drama. Churchill once said “Playwrights don’t give answers, they ask questions”.[1] It could be said that Churchill is asking the audience to acknowledge how much a woman has to sacrifice in order to succeed in the stereotypically male dominant workplace. However, it could also be said that she could be asking the audience to acknowledge how career power is perceived as a male trait and therefore successful career women have to adopt male attitudes. The Handmaid’s Tale, however, is a dystopian novel. Ostensibly it is a critique of a patriarchal society or it could also be said to be a warning for people to beware of what they wish for as it can come back on you and have affects you did not account for. This is shown through the actions taken and results received by of one of the protagonists known as Serena Joy. Marlene, the lead female character in ‘Top Girls’ is a determined and blunt career woman, a stereotype perhaps, of the successful 1980’s business woman. Serena Joy, Atwood's female character in the futuristic ‘The Handmaids Tale’, is a pampered woman of status who some may see as a victim of her own success. Some say that Churchill has closely based the protagonist Marlene on the politically iconic Margaret Thatcher. Marlene seems to embody both feminist views and the aggressive ‘me first’ philosophy that dominated the business sector in the 1980’s.

Marlene shares many of the same beliefs about success as Margaret Thatcher and uses her as her own icon in the dialogue. For example Marlene says: “she’s a tough lady that Maggie, I’d give her a job”. This helps to show Marlene relating herself to Thatcher and recognizing Thatcher’s strong and independent views. Marlene says this in a conversation with her sister Joyce whilst talking about her career, she says, “I believe in the individual. Look...
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