Top Girls: A Look at Contemporary Issues Part 5

Joyce made the choice to look after Marlene’s baby as if it were her own, however, it appears that she has failed as a mother, as Angie tells Kit she plans on killing her. “I’m going to kill my mother and you’re going to watch (48).” Angie goes on to say that she will not stay at home any longer and wants to get away. “I’m not staying here (50).” Angie’s feelings for her mother Joyce are so negative that she feels the need to run away and escape.

The idea of relocating in order to succeed comes up several times in the play. When Shona comes into the agency where Marlene works and speaks with Nell, Nell asks her whether the location of a job would be a problem. “So relocation wouldn’t be a problem (73).” To which Shona replies, “No (73).” It becomes clear that in order to succeed career-wise a person has to be willing to leave everything behind, and go wherever necessary.

Angie does eventually escape from the house which she couldn’t stand anymore, as she makes her way to London to see Marlene. She talks to Win who informs her that, “there’s not many top ladies about. Your aunty’s a smashing bird (75).” Marlene is not only successful for having received the managerial position, but is even more successful since she is a woman who would have had less chances for advancement than a man.

Although Angie is still a young girl, Joyce seems to be convinced that Marlene’s belief that anyone can succeed if they try doesn’t apply, and that Angie is already a failure who “hasn’t an idea in her head what she wants to do. Lucky to get anything (82).” Not only does Joyce believe Angie is doomed to grow up and end up a failure, but she has essentially failed as a mother as well, for letting her drop out of school and throw away her chances at a better life.

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