Top Girls

by

Caryl Churchill

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Angie Character Analysis

Joyce’s sixteen-year-old adoptive daughter Angie is odd, quiet, and stunted. She is a lonely girl, whose only friend, Kit, is four years younger than her. Angie expresses a keen desire to kill her mother—but also admits to Kit that she knows that her true mother is Joyce’s sister, Marlene. Angie dresses in clothes that are too small for her—notably, a fancy dress Marlene gave to Angie on a previous visit—and speaks in simple, clipped, occasionally disjointed sentences. Angie travels to London to see Marlene, longing to spend time with her aunt and confessing that the day of Marlene’s last visit, one year earlier, was the best day of her whole life. Angie has a fear of being unwanted or rejected, which seems to stem from the fact that she has figured out the truth of her parentage. Angie’s odd behavior, violent impulses, and fear of abandonment are symbolic of Churchill’s own frustrations with the values of contemporary “feminism”—values which prize individualism, aloofness, and self-serving behavior over basic human empathy and care for others, which are, unfortunately, seen as weaknesses or burdens within a patriarchal society.

Angie Quotes in Top Girls

The Top Girls quotes below are all either spoken by Angie or refer to Angie. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Life Under the Patriarchy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Bloomsbury edition of Top Girls published in 1982.
Act One, Scene Three Quotes

ANGIE: I’m going to London. To see my aunt.

KIT: And what?

ANGIE: That’s it.

KIT: I see my aunt all the time.

ANGIE: I don’t see my aunt.

KIT: What’s so special?

ANGIE: It is special. She’s special.

KIT: Why?

ANGIE: She is.

KIT: Why?

ANGIE: She is.

KIT: Why?

ANGIE: My mother hates her.

KIT: Why?

ANGIE: Because she does.

KIT: Perhaps she’s not very nice.

ANGIE: She is nice.

KIT: How do you know?

ANGIE: Because I know her.

KIT: You said you never see her.

ANGIE: I saw her last year. You saw her.

KIT: Did I?

ANGIE: Never mind.

KIT: I remember her. That aunt. What’s so special?

ANGIE: She gets people jobs.

KIT: What’s so special?

ANGIE: I think I’m my aunt’s child. I think my mother’s really my aunt.

Related Characters: Angie (speaker), Kit (speaker), Marlene, Joyce
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene One Quotes

MARLENE: Don’t you have to go home?

ANGIE: No.

MARLENE: Why not?

ANGIE: It’s all right.

MARLENE: Is it all right?

ANGIE: Yes, don’t worry about it.

MARLENE: Does Joyce know where you are?

ANGIE: Yes of course she does.

MARLENE: Well does she?

ANGIE: Don’t worry about it.

MARLENE: How long are you planning to stay with me then?

ANGIE: You know when you came to see us last year?

MARLENE: Yes, that was nice wasn’t it.

ANGIE: That was the best day of my whole life.

MARLENE: So how long are you planning to stay?

ANGIE: Don’t you want me?

MARLENE: Yes yes, I just wondered.

ANGIE: I won’t stay if you don’t want me.

MARLENE: No, of course you can stay.

ANGIE: I’ll sleep on the floor. I won’t be any bother.

MARLENE: Don’t get upset.

ANGIE: I’m not, I’m not. Don’t worry about it.

Related Characters: Marlene (speaker), Angie (speaker), Joyce
Related Symbols: Top Girls Employment Agency
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

MARLENE: Is she asleep?

WIN: She wants to work here.

MARLENE: Packer in Tesco more like.

WIN: She’s a nice kid. Isn’t she?

MARLENE: She’s a bit thick. She’s a bit funny.

WIN: She thinks you’re wonderful.

MARLENE: She’s not going to make it.

Related Characters: Marlene (speaker), Win (speaker), Angie
Related Symbols: Top Girls Employment Agency
Page Number: 77
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene Two Quotes

JOYCE: [Kit’s] a little girl Angie sometimes plays with because she’s the only child lives really close. She’s like a little sister to her really. Angie’s good with little children.

MARLENE: Do you want to work with children, Angie? Be a teacher or nursery nurse?

JOYCE: I don’t think she’s ever thought of it.

MARLENE: What do you want to do?

JOYCE: She hasn’t got an idea in her head what she wants to do. Lucky to get anything.

JOYCE: True enough.

Related Characters: Marlene (speaker), Joyce (speaker), Angie, Kit
Page Number: 82-83
Explanation and Analysis:

JOYCE: You couldn’t get out of here fast enough.

MARLENE: Of course I couldn’t get out of here fast enough. What was I going to do? Marry a dairyman who’d come home pissed? Don’t you fucking this

JOYCE: Christ.

MARLENE: fucking that fucking bitch fucking tell me what to fucking do fucking.

JOYCE: I don’t know how you could leave your own child.

MARLENE: You were quick enough to take her.

JOYCE: What does that mean?

MARLENE: You were quick enough to take her?

JOYCE: Or what? Have her put in a home? Have some stranger take her would you rather?

MARLENE: You couldn’t have one so you took mine.

Related Characters: Marlene (speaker), Joyce (speaker), Angie
Page Number: 89-90
Explanation and Analysis:

JOYCE: Listen when Angie was six months I did get pregnant and I lost it because I was so tired looking after your fucking baby because she cried so

MARLENE: You never told me.

JOYCE much—yes I did tell you—and the doctor

MARLENE: Well I forgot.

JOYCE: said if I’d sat down all day with my feet up I’d’ve kept it and that’s the only chance I ever had because after that—

MARLENE: I’ve had two abortions, are you interested? Shall I tell you about them? Well I won’t, it’s boring, it wasn’t a problem. I don’t like messy talk about blood and what a bad time we all had. I

JOYCE: If I hadn’t had your baby. The doctor said.

MARLENE: don’t want a baby. I don’t want to talk about gynaecology.

Related Characters: Marlene (speaker), Joyce (speaker), Angie
Page Number: 92
Explanation and Analysis:

MARLENE: I hate the working class which is what

JOYCE: Yes you do.

MARLENE: you’re going to go on about now, it doesn’t exist any more, it means lazy and stupid. I don’t

JOYCE: Come on, now we’re getting it.

MARLENE: like the way they talk. I don’t like beer guts and football vomit and saucy tits and brothers and sisters—

JOYCE: I spit when I see a Rolls Royce, scratch it with my ring Mercedes it was.

MARLENE: Oh very mature—

JOYCE: I hate the cows I work for and their dirty dishes with blanquette of fucking veau.

MARLENE: and I will not be pulled down to their level by a flying picket and I won’t be sent to Siberia or a loony bin just because I’m original. And I support

JOYCE: No, you’ll be on a yacht, you’ll be head of Coca Cola and you wait, the eighties is going to be stupendous all right because we’ll get you lot off our backs—

MARLENE: Reagan even if he is a lousy movie star because the reds are swarming up his map and I want to be free in a free world—

JOYCE: What? What?

MARLENE: I know what I mean by that—not shut up here.

JOYCE: So don’t be round here when it happens because if someone’s kicking you I’ll just laugh.

(silence)

MARLENE: I don’t mean anything personal. I don’t believe in class. Anyone can do anything if they’ve got what it takes.

JOYCE: And if they haven’t?

MARLENE: If they’re stupid or lazy or frightened, I’m not going to help them get a job, why should I?

JOYCE: What about Angie?

MARLENE: What about Angie?

JOYCE: She’s stupid, lazy and frightened, so what about her?

MARLENE: You run her down too much. She’ll be all right.

JOYCE: I don’t expect so, no. I expect her children will say what a wasted life she had. If she has children. Because nothing’s changed and it won’t with them in.

Related Characters: Marlene (speaker), Joyce (speaker), Angie
Page Number: 96-97
Explanation and Analysis:

ANGIE: Mum?

MARLENE: Angie? What’s the matter?

ANGIE: Mum?

MARLENE: No, she’s gone to bed. It’s Aunty Marlene.

ANGIE: Frightening.

MARLENE: Did you have a bad dream? What happened in it? Well you’re awake now, aren’t you, pet?

ANGIE: Frightening.

Related Characters: Marlene (speaker), Angie (speaker), Joyce
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:
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Top Girls PDF

Angie Character Timeline in Top Girls

The timeline below shows where the character Angie appears in Top Girls. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One, Scene Three
Life Under the Patriarchy Theme Icon
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
In Marlene’s sister Joyce’s backyard, two girls—Angie, who is sixteen, and Kit, who is twelve—play in a “shelter made of junk.” The... (full context)
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
Joyce calls for Angie, telling her to come inside. Angie doesn’t answer, or move. She tells Kit that last... (full context)
Motherhood Theme Icon
Angie demands that when she gets her own period, Kit must lick her bloody fingers, too.... (full context)
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
Kit asks Angie where the safest place is during a war. Angie tells her nowhere is safe. Kit... (full context)
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
Angie twists Kit’s arm and tells her to admit she’s a liar. Kit refuses, and Angie... (full context)
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
...home. Kit protests that they want to go see a movie, but Joyce insists that Angie needs to clean her room before the girls go anywhere. After a brief argument, Angie... (full context)
Motherhood Theme Icon
Angie comes back out of the house—she has changed into a fancy dress, which is too... (full context)
Act Two, Scene One
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
In the main office, Angie arrives to visit Marlene. Marlene is surprised to see Angie, and asks how she got... (full context)
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Marlene tells Angie that she has, unfortunately, picked a day when Marlene is quite busy. She tells Angie... (full context)
Life Under the Patriarchy Theme Icon
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Angie admires Marlene’s “lovely” office, but Marlene brags that she’ll soon be moving to a new... (full context)
Motherhood Theme Icon
Angie asks if she can see the office next week—Marlene asks Angie if she has to... (full context)
Motherhood Theme Icon
Angie tells Marlene that how she handled Mrs. Kidd was “wonderful.” Marlene, exhausted, tells Angie that... (full context)
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
In the main office, Angie has sat herself down in Win’s chair. Win introduces herself, and offers Angie some food,... (full context)
Life Under the Patriarchy Theme Icon
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Angie asks Win if she went to school, and Win begins telling Angie the story of... (full context)
Life Under the Patriarchy Theme Icon
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Nell comes into the office, and points out that Angie has fallen asleep. Nell asks who Angie is, and Win tells her she is Marlene’s... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Two
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
The action flashes back to one year earlier; Marlene, Joyce, and Angie are in Joyce’s kitchen. Marlene is pulling numerous presents out of a bag for Angie,... (full context)
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
As soon as Angie is out of the room, Joyce chides Marlene for dropping in unannounced, but Marlene is... (full context)
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
...mind seeing Marlene now that she’s here. She tells Marlene that she can come see Angie anytime she likes—Joyce won’t stop her. Marlene is the one who went away—Joyce and Angie... (full context)
Motherhood Theme Icon
Angie comes back in wearing the dress, and Marlene compliments her on how pretty she looks.... (full context)
Life Under the Patriarchy Theme Icon
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
...“as if she lives there,” inserting herself right into the action. Joyce introduces Kit to “Angie’s Aunt Marlene.” Kit seems uninterested in Marlene’s presence, and instead asks Angie if she’s going... (full context)
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
Marlene asks Joyce to catch her up on all the neighborhood gossip—Angie is confused as the women trade stories from their own youth, and attempts to get... (full context)
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
While Angie is out of the room, Joyce states that she doesn’t know any of Marlene’s business—so... (full context)
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
...she got in to town earlier that morning, and spent the day otherwise engaged, but Angie’s shouts cut her off. Marlene goes to Angie’s room, leaving Joyce alone for a minute,... (full context)
Motherhood Theme Icon
...Marlene what the secret was; Marlene replies that it’s a secret. Joyce says she knows Angie and Kit have some “secret society”—Marlene teases Joyce for not knowing the “password.” Joyce worries... (full context)
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
...people she left behind. Marlene states that their mother is not only Joyce’s mother, and Angie is not only Joyce’s child. She asks why she can’t visit her own family without... (full context)
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
...out that Joyce was “quick enough to take her.” Joyce protests that she only took Angie because she didn’t want her to go to an orphanage, or a stranger. Marlene suggests... (full context)
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
...Marlene keeps insisting that she essentially did Joyce a favor by allowing Joyce to take Angie and raise her as her own. She asks if Joyce doesn’t want Angie anymore, and... (full context)
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
Joyce confesses that when Angie was six months old, she did become pregnant on her own—but she miscarried, because she... (full context)
Women’s Stories Theme Icon
...cry—she likes crying. The two women laugh, and Marlene thanks Joyce earnestly for looking after Angie. Joyce tells Marlene she’s drunk, and fixes her some tea. As she does, she concedes... (full context)
Power, Success, and Individualism Theme Icon
Motherhood Theme Icon
Joyce asks what Marlene would do about Angie, then, who is “stupid, lazy, and frightened.” Marlene assures Joyce that Angie will be all... (full context)
Motherhood Theme Icon
...herself in a blanket, sits on the couch, and has another drink. After a moment, Angie walks in, calling for her mother. Marlene asks Angie what the matter is, and Angie... (full context)