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What Made A Taste of Honey Dramatic

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What made Delaney's play dramatic for its audience? A Taste of Honey was first produced at London's Royal Court Theatre in 1958. Britain in the 1950's was much different than it is now. During the 1950's single parents were a tiny minority of the population. Couples who were living together without getting married would have been condemned by society .Male homosexuality were a criminal offence and it was generally not safe for homosexuals to appear in public. Statistics show that in 1958 approximately 1 in 100 marriages ended in divorce compared to 1995 when approximately 1 in 3 marriages ended in divorce. Also in 1958 there were black communities in the United Kingdom in London, Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool but they were not common elsewhere. In the 1990's approximately 1 in 20 British citizens is of African, Asian of Caribbean origin. The play A Taste of Honey explores all of the above themes which at the time in 1958 were controversial. The play confronts a range of social issues such as single motherhood, black and white, gay and straight and class. These issues are discussed in a frank manner and from a female point of view both of which were unusual for Britain in the 1950's.During the 1950's. The country was deeply religious quite unlike the Britain of today. During the 1950's the theatre going audience would largely have been made up of the upper classes. A favourite show at that time was "My Fair Lady" which is a play about a girl named Eliza Do-Little who is taught how to become a "proper "Lady. It would only have been in very rare circumstances that the working classes would have attended. ...read more.


Jo is the result of a brief fling that has been raised in difficult circumstances .She has not had the benefit of one loving parent let alone two. There has been no father figure just a constant stream of Helen's boyfriends .This is illustrated when Jo says' you should have asked him to stay. It wouldn't be the first time I've been thrown out of my bed to make room for one of you is...' The fact that Helen is referred to as Helen by Jo reflects the lack of maternal feelings on Helen's behalf. The play at this point raises awareness amongst the middle classes about the plight of the single parent and I am sure that the audience though shocked at the reality would have some sympathy for both women although in different ways. Single parents would have been unheard of amongst the middle classes and if such a situation arose the female would have been forced into marriage to avoid a scandal. Jo is afraid of 'darkness inside houses' which is an insight into the loneliness and fear that she feels as she is often left alone by her mother. The home is seen as a place of sanctuary, a place of warmth, comfort and love but this is not the case for Jo. Helen is not interested .in any of this she does not wish to make a home for Jo. She is very self centred and feels a bitterness towards Jo. When Jo tries to ask Helen for details about her father Helen replies 'I didn't do it on purpose. How was I to know you'd materialize out of a little love affair that lasted five minutes?' ...read more.


It was a time when she had 'A Taste of Honey' The themes explored in depth above of the class system, dysfunctional families, (a single mother with a child of dual heritage living with a homosexual male who is not related to her.) Racism, homophobia, alcoholism, prostitution, dialogue, offensive language all contribute to the fact that Delaney's play was dramatic for its audience. The dialogue is witty sharp and unsentimental. The issues covered in the play are still fresh and anyone one of them could be headline news tomorrow. It portrays complex relationships which are constantly at the forefront in today's society. Some critics actually saw Delaney's work as a protest against working class poverty and the hopelessness of a flawed social system. The play demanded attention and as a result the public began to change their attitude towards art and society. I think that the ending of the play is one of the most dramatic moments throughout. Jo is left on her own, waiting to give birth to a black child, which as discussed before was frowned upon in that time. This would be said to be a Hollywood ending as many of us believe that Hollywood endings are make believe, they are this to impress the audience as situations in this matter would not have happened, which leads us to think is it real? This then relates to a book "The Catcher in The Rye" because the book is about phoneys, although how it is all real and makes us think of the situation. This in relation to "a Taste Of honey" is quite similar, because although the ending is dramatic, situations like this happened in the 1950's and the fact Jo was abandoned because of her black child was not frowned upon, because it seemed like the right thing to do. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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