Thursday, January 30, 2020
A Taste of Honey Play Analysis Essay Example for Free
A Taste of Honey Play Analysis Essay A Taste of Honey is a play written by Shelagh Delaney. Shelagh Delaney was born on the 5th of November, 1939 in Salford, Lancashire. At eleven years old she failed to pass the examination that would allow her to enter a grammar school, and she went to a secondary school named Broughton. She was accepted into the grammar school at a later stage as she has proved herself to be intelligent. She was seen to be a late developer but by this time she had lost interest in her academic progress and so therefore did not continue on to higher education. Her first play was A Taste of Honey, which she wrote when she was 18, was accepted by a Joan Littlewood for production by Theatre Workshop Company. The first opening of the play was on the 27th of May at the Theatre Royal in East London. A Taste of Honey was transferred to West London on the 10the of February. For this play she received the Foyles New Play Award and an Arts Council Bursary. In the 1950s England was felling the effects of World War II, so when Shelagh Delaney wrote the play she had experienced World War II. Also because of the World War only lower/ middle class groups would watch the play. Another factor that has caused the play, A Taste of Honey, to be a great success is that it contained issues that were never openly discussed and were consider to be illegal. For example: homosexuality- this was never discussed openly and was considered very bad, racism- Black people or people that were coloured were also considered lower class. The mood, tension and suspense had been built up during the play. In Act 1 Scene 2 Jo meets with her boyfriend and during a conversation he asks her to marry him and she accepts his proposal even though he will be away on his ship for six months and so she will have to wait before he can marry him. She is given a ring by her fiancÃ ¯Ã ¿Ã ½e which she wears around her neck instead of on her finger. This is because she doesnt want her mother to see the ring. Back in the apartment Helen tells Jo that she is going to marry Peter. Peter enters and Jo starts to shout at both Helen and Peter, while Helen is defending and attacking both Peter and Jo. Peter, however, is ignoring or criticising Jo and flattering Helen. Helen and Peter leave and Jos boyfriend arrives and keeps her company. On Helens wedding day Jo is feeling sick and cannot attend her mothers wedding. Helen then sees the ring around Jos neck and starts scolding Jo violently for think of marrying this young. Jo then asks about her father and Helen explains, and then runs off to her wedding. There is a lot that happens in this scene both Helen and Jo plan on getting married. And this has built up a lot of tension. But there moods with each other getting married are not positive. Helen is not happy with Jo considering marriage at such a young age. Jo is also not happy that Helen is marrying Peter but is unable to do anything about it. The timing of this happening is also coincidental as Helen and Jo both were planning to marry at the same time this cause the audience to build up suspense. The scene is ended with Helen leaving Jo behind this will leave the audience thinking of what is going to happen. The scene is ended with suspense so that the audience is egger for the next scene. Act 2 scene 1 begins and Jos pregnancy is quite obvious and her boyfriend has not returned. Jo and Geof, a boy she met in a fairground, return to Jos apartment. The scene beginning with Jo being obviously pregnant causes drama for the audience also Jos black boyfriend has not returned from his sale this make the audience think that the boyfriend will never return. Jo is currently living alone and is working in a shoe shop in the day and working at a bar in the evenings to pay the rent. This has set the mood of Jos environment to be busy and Jo seems to be very tired. As when she returns from the fair she falls onto her sofa as she is tired, she as says that she has to be up before half past seven. This makes us think that going to work is very necessary for her and she is finding it difficult. Geof, an art student, who had been thrown out of his lodgings, says that the reason he was thrown out was because he was behind on the rent. Jo challenges him and keeps on persisting that he is lying as she knows he is homosexual. She even states that I always wanted to know about people like you she offends Geof with her insensitive mocking and curiosity. She finally says that Geof should tell her why he was thrown out (even though she knows why she wants to hear it from Geof) or get out Geof heads for the door to leave and is stopped by Jo begging for him to stay, Geof Dont go. Dont go. Geof! Im sorry. Please stay. I think that this shows that Jo wants some company as she is alone and finding it difficult to pay for the apartment. Jo is not threatened by Geof staying in her apartment as he is homosexual and is therefore not physically attracted to her she also says, Thats why Im letting you stay here. You wont start anything. When Geof is with Jo the mood is peaceful and is not chaotic. Also, Jos character is different she is not as aggressive as before. The audience are interested in Geof as they want to know facts about him because of his homosexual personality. It might be that Geof was thrown out because he was homosexual and he doesnt want to admit that he is gay, also in that period of time homosexuality was wrong. After Jo apologises they start talking and tell each other that they like each other and they are becoming closer and their relationship develops. There mood has changed and they are now talking about each other and asking questions about there past. Geof brings up the subject of the baby and Jos mother, he thinks that Jo should tell her mother about her pregnancy. Jo replied Why? this shows that she still doesnt think that her mother should have nothing to do with Jos baby. Geof then goes on to ask what kind of woman is she and Jo replies by saying shes rich Geof says that she should be interested in her mothers money as she will be needing it later for the baby, as the baby will be costing Jo more money then she can afford. When Geof says that she will need baby clothes a cot and a pram, Jo replies by saying, Im not planning big plans for this baby or dreaming big dreams. This shows that Jo has thought that she will look after the baby with the barest amount of money. Jos character is strange in comparison to other mothers. Most mothers will be hoping for the best for their children. Jo, however, is not interested; she has no idea to look after a child as she has never been looked after by her mother very well. I found it strange when Geof says, Youre feeling a bit depressed, Jo. He was telling Joe how she felt and this shows that Geof is already having feelings for Jo. When Geof offers Jo a cigarette she declines it, she said she only smoked to annoy her mother. I think that this shows that Jo did things to annoy her mother to get revenge. Jos character to towards her mother does not change through out the play. Geof asks Jo about her black boyfriend when Jo answers the questions she is giving false answers. I think that she has forgotten about the boy and has moved on with her life. Geof sings two nursery rhymes; this lightens the mood and shows that Geof is still childish and young in heart. When Geoffrey and Jo go to bed Jo says, Youre just like a big sister to me. This shows that Jo has no sexual attractions towards Geof and sees him more like a friendly sister who looks after her. Jo comments on the childrens appearance, look at those filthy children. I think this is because as she is pregnant she is thinking about children and looking at other children on the streets. She then says that is there parents fault, but then says, His mother ought not to be allowed. Jo is referring to her own mother in a way as Jo was treated badly and sometimes thinks that her mother should not of had her. Geof is homosexual but still tries to kiss Jo and even asks to marry her. Jo declines, is it shown that Jo likes Geoffrey but she is not sexually attracted to him. I think that the reason Geof asked Jo to marry him is because he want to be normal or a least be treated normal. So if he gets married people wont think that he is homosexual and as Jo has a baby it will save him the trouble. Geof knows that if he stays with Jo his life is heading nowhere, but he wants to stay with Jo, Id sooner be dead than away from you. Geoffrey has grown a strong feeling for Jo and visa-versa, however, Jo likes him as a big sister. Helen enters the room and the mood has changed, that tension between Jo and Helen is now strong. Helen is not surprised that Jo is in bed, she thinks that Jo should still be going to work in her condition. Helens character is still expecting much of Jo even when Helen is sick she would ask Jo to do the work. Jo doesnt even welcome her mother politely, What blew you in? Helen assumes that Geoffrey is Jos boyfriend. While Helen and Jo argue Geof enters defending Jo but is shut up by both the ladies. Even with Jo in pregnancy Helen is still as violent she is throwing threats at Jo, Ill give you such a bloody good hiding in a minute Then Helen knows that she was right and told Jo not to get married at such an early age but gets into a mess none the less. Helen then says that she didnt come to argue but actually came to give money but Jo doesnt want it even when she needs it not from her mother anyway. Helen does care about her daughter but doesnt show it although she does show it more then Jo, Look at your arms. Theyre like a couple of stalks! she doesnt want her daughter to be unhealthy. When Peter enters, the mood changes everyone is concentrating on him and want him out of the room. It is obvious that Peter is not in love with Helen and it maybe that she is not in love with Peter it might be that she only married him for his money. When Drunken Peter enters he insults the other three, when he sees that Helen is giving his money away he is angry with Helen, Giving my money away again? Peter then takes his money back from Helen and therefore contradicting Helens offer of a home to Jo. When Peter leaves he calls Helen to com with her but she says no. Helen is unsure of her choice so asks Jo if she should stay with her and Jo replies no. I can see that Helen was unsure to make her decision and when she ask Jo and she said no she yelled out yes to Peter. When Peter asked Helen if shes coming she replied no, however, Peter still insists that Helen come with her. I think that even when he has lost interest in Helen he doesnt want to let her go, this is just like him and his money. Helens last act of affection is shown, she tells Geof to make sure that she goes to the clinic regularly. As soon as Helen leaves the mood has changed, it is back to that jokey mood with Jo and Geof. This is shown when Geof says that at least Helen left her some money but Jo says that Peter took it back but she has a cigarette for him. Geof replies, Oh, smashing I have noted that their moods change and they are back to their original state. This scene is one of the most relevant scenes in the whole play; it shows the relationship between Jo and Geof from when it first started to when they have a strong bond. It also is the first scene with homosexuality init so this is very appealing to the audience. It also is the scene when Helen finds out that Jo is pregnant and is therefore quite dramatic. This scene is very significant to the play as without this the scene it would not be as effective.