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Caryl Churchill a dramatic playwright composes plays that always have a power and gender political essence to them mainly reflecting women in society Her plays are provocative and challenging in particular her play Top Girls which prompts political thinking and sets up a debate within the theatre In contrast to this play the film If directed by Lindsay Anderson takes place in a male boarding school and incorporates many disconcerting elements standing out from mainstream cinema In order to decipher as to whether power freedom and personal fulfilment are demonstrated in different ways in both examples I believe we first need to address the author and director of Top Girls and If respectively The obvious distinction is their personal gender and not just specifically the gender of the characters they each utilise a notion I believe will have an affect on how these themes are presented to us Caryl Churchill is a playwright of ideas with her primary concern being the individuals struggle to emerge from the ensnarements of culture class economic systems and the imperatives of the past Not surprisingly for a contemporary female writer she primarily employs female characters to deal with such themes Feminist theory and gender politics identify major themes in Churchills work however unique to feminist writers and playwrights in general is the origin of Churchills writing for the stage My own personal view is that Churchills main motive for writing this particular genre is due to the competition she has had to face in society as a female herself Gender equality is still far from our reach in todays society but at the time of writing in the Thatcher era the situation was worse Churchills main purpose for writing plays such as Top Girls was to show women struggling in a mens world especially in the workplace environment but also to demonstrate that women are able to succeed and be successful in what they do Although during the
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