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Form and Structure

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Introduction

FORM AND STRUCTURE `A Taste of Honey' is in two acts, both containing two scenes, and set in two flats. The play could be described as episodic, due to the fact that within the same situation by using a blackout, the play has moved on months from the previous scene (i.e. Jo's pregnancy in Act II). Delaney has used a Brechtian device with using episodes to show different aspects of the characters lives, and how they fit together in the plot. The structure of the play is fairly basic as it follows the Brechtian influence of a Linear plot(beginning, middle, end) i.e. the play is easy to follow which symbolises the characters lives - monotonous and basically the same situations arising from one day to the next. However, a element of Stanislavski is used as the technique of naturalistic/realistic drama (soap opera effect) is apparent. `A Taste of Honey' follows the life of a young girl call Jo over the period of approximately 12 - 18 months. It is realistic in the sense that it portrays how working class people live and the struggles they have to endure, which would therefore allow the audience to relate to this and affect them emotionally. This relates to Stanislavski's aim of wanting to depict the working class and show the rich and privileged how they live (realities of society). ...read more.

Middle

Helen kicks Geof out/makes him leave without Jo knowing about this, and she knows Jo wants him there. Another example is Helen arguing with Peter for touching her. Peter ( touching her) ''Now you know I like this mother and son relationship" Helen: "Stop it" Peter: "Aren't you wearing your girdle?" (Act 1, scene1, page 18) Helen argues with Peter about this because really she likes him touching her. This relates to Jo 's situation as she doesn't want `boy' (Jimmie) to touch her, due to the fact that she enjoys it too. This dismissal of affection is due to both the female characters not being really used to affection, as their relationship as mother and daughter certainly doesn't entail this behavior. Therefore, the characters don't know how to conduct themselves in a loving relationship, and are unaware of how to respond to affection, care and attention. The hostile relationship between Jo and Helen is established due to the many arguments they have, for example, when Jo tells Helen she's getting married, Helen is angry. Jo: "My boyfriend, he asked me to marry him" Helen: "Well, you silly bitch. I could choke you" (Act 1, scene II) The domestic relationship is between Helen and Peter (mother and boyfriend). For example, when Peter finds out that Helen has a daughter he states: "That puts another 10 years on her" (Act 1, scene 1) ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore, the suspense is built up by the language, how the tempo of the dialogue speeds up as arguments take place, and the questions raised by the characters. For example, Jo inquires about her father and Helen divulges to her that he wasn't exactly normal. This leads the audience into thinking what actually was wrong with him and how will it effect Jo in later life? This device links to Stanislavski's idea of realism and how, for example, Helen is ashamed to admit firstly being adulterous and how this changed her life,(turned into a whore) and that she slept with the apparent village idiot, which in the 1950s would have been the gossip of everybody (fits in with the era). An element within the play which has had the influence of Brecht is the idea of Forum theatre. Brecht liked the audience to be involved in the play and in 'A Taste of Honey', Delaney has tried to incorporate an aspect of this by having the some of the characters speaking and interacting with the audience. For example, Helen addressed the audience frequently in Act one, scene One: ''She can't do anything for herself, that girl.'' (page 10) Another example is Jo on page 7: ''You packed 'em. She'd lose her head if it was loose.'' This device allows the audience to actually get feel a of what the atmosphere is actually like for the characters, and therefore this incorporates Stanislavinski's idea of wanting the audience to be able to react emotionally to the play. ...read more.

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