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My Mother Said I Never Should - Plot and Subplot

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Introduction

My Mother Said I Never Should - Plot and Subplot Act 1 scene 1 begins in the 'waste ground' setting, where Doris, Margaret, Jackie and Rosie are all present, and are all children in their respective generations, each wearing clothes typical of their time period. The waste ground is the only setting where all four characters are seen together, and gives the audience the opportunity to see all the characters as equals, and we gain an insight into their personality traits such as Jackie's wildness and Margaret's insecurities from this early on. The first scene shows the four children, Jackie and Margaret are age 9, Doris is age 5, and Rosie is 8 playing together. They begin by singing "My Mother Said I Never Should", before discussing Jackie introduces the idea of killing their mothers. The others are less enthusiastic, and Jackie, after daring each character, conspires with Rosie to eliminate the two others from their plans. Doris runs off crying after being called a 'baby' by the other three, Rosie shocks Margaret by telling her that she could get pregnant without getting married, and then, after being suggested by Jackie, the remaining three characters try to "call up the spirit of Granny". After seeing something, all three are frightened, and run away. ...read more.

Middle

Margaret persuades Jackie that she will raise Rosie as her own daughter, without Rosie's knowledge. Jackie's monologue reveals how much she does care for her daughter, and in the final lines, shows real regret "Rosie! Come back!" Margaret's monologue follows, and we see her confusion, comparing Rosie to Jackie as a baby. Scene 7 is back in 1951, with Doris age 51 and Margaret age 20. They discuss the war, and Margaret mentions that Ken is in the army, and how they will be moving together to London. Margaret says how she may be getting a job, and Doris disapproves, saying "What do you call running a home?" They talk about relationships and the future, and Doris mentions how she once had a job, before Ken interrupts by pressing the car horn, prompting an argument about the suitability of Margaret's partner. Scene 8 is again in the waste ground setting, with Jackie and Rosie. We discover that Jackie has been to 'the boys' den' and kissed one of them in order to get her penknife back. Rosie feels betrayed by Jackie breaking her promise, yet immediately after they argue, they make another promise by cutting their fingers and repeating a rhyme. Scene 9 is a phone call between Doris and Margaret on the same day as scene 6. ...read more.

Conclusion

Act two closes with Doris's monologue, as she's talking to her late husband, before Rosie interrupts and leads her away. Act 3 scene 1 is in 1987 with Doris and Margaret, aged 87 and 56. They mention that Jackie and Rosie are on holiday, and we discover that Ken may have left Margaret, though apparently not for "another woman". Doris says that she, Margaret and Jackie had all expected too much from marriage and motherhood, and that happiness wasn't necessarily guaranteed. Scene 2 is set 4 days later in Margaret's office. Rosie and Jackie enter, back from their holiday. Margaret lies to Rosie, saying that Ken has "gone away for the week" Rosie announces that although she "can't think of anyone less like a mother", she is going to live with Jackie in Manchester. Margaret is very negative, and like in Act one, scene 6, assumes Jackie is unfit to look after Rosie "It's an adventure with you". She is clearly jealous, and resents the fact that Rosie wants to live with her real mother "you can't. Those are my years." Scene 3 is back in the wasteground, with all of the characters except Margaret. They pretend to be casting a spell to kill their mothers, and at the end of the scene, the shadowy figure of Margaret appears, as in the start of the play with Doris. Scene 4 is Margaret's monologue in hospital. ...read more.

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