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Compare And Contrast The Ways In Which 'top Girls' By Caryl Churchill And 'death Of A Salesman' By Arthur Miller Present Parent Child Relationship...

1724 words - 7 pages

Parent-child relationships are used to create dramatic effect in both 'Top Girls' and 'Death of a Salesman' as the main parent-child relationships presented in both plays are based on lies which creates a sense of conflict. However because 'Top Girls' is mainly focused on the uncertainty of Angie not knowing who her mother it is arguable that 'Top Girls' is more dramatic in its portrayal.

Throughout both 'Top Girls' and 'Death of a Salesman' the main parent-child relationships that are presented are ones of tension and are based on lies and secrecy. In 'Top Girls' it is evident that the mother-daughter relationship between Joyce and Angie is not one of closeness as it has been built on lies. There is an indication to the audience that Angie believes that “I'm my aunt’s child” which is the main source of conflict between Joyce and Angie. Joyce calls Angie a “fucking rotten little cunt” which is shocking as it not language the audience would expect a mother to label her child with, which suggests Angie is not Joyce’s daughter therefore creating dramatic effect. The suggestion that Angie is not Joyce’s daughter creates dramatic effect until the very end of the play as the closing scene is simply Angie repeating the word “Mum?” The questioning suggests Angie has heard Joyce and Marlene’s previous conversation, in which it is revealed that Marlene is Angie’s mum therefore dramatic effect is created as the audience is left questioning whether Angie knows the truth.
Similarly in 'Death of a Salesman' the relationship between Willy and Biff, father and son, is one that has been built on lies which causes conflict between the pair, much like Joyce and Angie in 'Top Girls.' From the outset of 'Death of a Salesman' it is evident that there is tension between Willy and Biff as Biff is clearly unsympathetic to the struggles Willy is facing as when Happy raises his concerns about his father Biff sharply replies “Just don't lay this all on me,” defensively. The short sentence suggests a sharp tone to Biff's voice and also gives the indication of anger which shows that Biff is unhappy about the topic of conversation and also gives the suggestion that Biff is more concerned about the fact Happy seems to blaming him as opposed to being concerned about his father. The conflict and tension between Biff and Willy is continued throughout the play particularly when the catalyst of the tension is revealed; Willy’s affair with a mystery women. Biff soon explodes with anger calling his father “You fake! You phoney little fake! You fake!” Miller uses repetition to emphasise the sharp tone and the anger and resentment Biff feels towards his father. Miller further presents Biff and Willy's distant relationship in the final scene of the play as it Biff shoes little emotion towards his father’s death. He repeatedly attempts to leave the grave and encourages his mother to “come along,” suggesting urgency to leave the graveyard instead of supporting his mother and therefore...

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