Write An Essay Comparing And Contrasting The Two Play Top Girls And A Doll's House

1534 words - 6 pages

Self -expression is about being able to voice out what you think, feel and mean in any form of activity. However, women that existed in the early centuries often have to follow the constrictive protocols prescribed by their patriarchal societies, thus depriving them many opportunities of self expression. This essay explores the different unique ways in which the female characters in Top Girls and A Doll's House challenge these protocols and how they respond to the patriarchal societies in which they live in. An analysis of the two play excerpts will be focused, followed by a comparison of the similarities and differences between both excerpts.The first excerpt is taken from Act I of Top Girls, where Joan, Marlene, Nijo, Isabella and Gret are sharing their experiences about motherhood as well as their sufferings and sacrifices made for their success in a patriarchal society.Traditionally, women are expected to play the role of a loving and devoted mother in little-valued domestic work like taking care of their children. However, these successful female characters break the stereotypical roles of female's attitude towards motherhood. They are bound together by their indifference towards their children. This can be seen by Joan's impassive reply, "Oh yes, I think so, yes." towards a question regarding her own child's death, Nijo's unemotional statement about her baby, "But oddly enough I felt nothing for him." and Gret's monosyllabic reply "Ten." These women do not see motherhood as a benchmark of their success nor as an outlet of self expression. Instead, their success is measured by the extent of satisfaction in doing activities that interest them and allows them to express themselves.In the excerpt, the success of both Joan and Isabella are depicted. Both have found their own outlet of self -expression. Joan found hers in religion while Isabella found hers in community services. Joan's success as the powerful Pope is portrayed by the scene of the Rogation Day where she rode 'on the horse dressed in robes' with 'a cross carried in front of her' followed by 'all the cardinals', 'all the clergy of Rome', and 'a huge crowd of people'. As the Pope, people worship her and obey her as her words are the law. Her success was only made possible because of her cross-dressing, drawing a masculine façade that concealed her gender. Isabella's success is depicted by how she hurl' herself into community services where she 'nursed the people in the epidemic of influenza' and 'lectured' the committees 'on Thrift' and 'how the East was corrupt and vicious." Since traveling is her interest, she is more than happy to share her experience and do some good for the committee.However, female success in a patriarchal society often comes with a price. Joan was 'dragged out of town' and 'stoned to death' after the disclosure of her gender identity along with her disastrous public childbirth. Her punishment symbolizes the peril of female independence in a male...

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