What is the argument the play "Top Girls" develops concerning career and motherhood?

Expert Answers
bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The play asks us to consider what price a woman must pay to attain success in a man's world. The successful women in the play have had to emulate men in order to be successful. They show themselves to be more ruthless and callous than any man in the business world, and as a result, they are robbed of meaningful relationships with men, other women, and children. The women compete with men on mens' terms, not their own, having to deny who and what they are.

Marlene is the best example of this. She is alone in her celebration of her promotion because she's estranged herself from her sister and her daughter. She has no friends because she doesn't trust other women. She apparently has no love interest and probably won't ever have one since Marlene would have to give up control and show weakness to become involved with a man. Raising a child would take too much time away from her job, so Marlene really can't be bothered with Angie. Marlene feels she must focus only on her job in order to be successful. According to the play, women cannot have a career and a family since a woman has too many obstacles to overcome if she wants to achieve any success in the workplace.