How you think the work "Top Girls" might be different if it had been written by a man? Think not just about the action or the contents but also about the manner of presentation

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accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Very interesting question posed at the end of #2. I do think that the gender of the author of course is so important for their style of writing, but at the same time I do believe that good authors are able to create good examples of narratives from the opposing gender's point of view. I appreciate Margaret Atwood so much for her ability to write from the point of view of convincing male figures as well as convincing female figures. I just wonder whether a man's take or perspective on the issues and themes in Top Girls would be different, and therefore might have been less shocking.

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

This is a difficult question to answer, since the author's perspective is not only informed by her gender, but by her nationality, and her own experiences as a woman and writer. She also had specific intentions and motivations for writing the play, and at least part of her intent seems to be to expose the ongoing subjugation of women based upon gender, and what the limitations for women still are in the contemporary world. Pregnancy and childbirth are central to the narratives of the characters from history, and also the story of the two sisters. Female autonomy is connected directly to female biology. A man writing about this topic might find a way to treat it precisely and as insightfully as Churchill has. Many writers are capable of portraying gender experiences outside their own (novelist Rita Mae Brown has said this ability is necessary to be a good writer).

A more effectuve question to ask might be, what might this play be like if the main characters and the question of gender that is explored was male, instead of female?

 

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