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How does Shelagh Delaney establish the relationship of the main characters for the audience in Act 1 Scene 1 of ‘A Taste of Honey’?

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David O'Neill 10.2 Taste of honey Essay How does Shelagh Delaney establish the relationship of the main characters for the audience in Act 1 Scene 1 of 'A Taste of Honey'? The first scene is probably the most important scene of all, as it tells us about the nature of the characters and their attitudes. The first words of the play that are stage directions play a big part. The quote " the stage represents a comfortless flat . . . . . the street outside. Jazz music" this tell us about the time in which they lived which was post war Britain from the jazz music. Jazz music is associated with the blues that was music about being down on your luck which was popular at these times. Mentioning that they lived in Manchester also gave a feeling of their surroundings. In Manchester at this time of the play there would have been few people of other ethnic origins as opposed to 1 in 20 British citizens being African, Asian or Caribbean origin in the 1990s. Also in that day and age it was only a tiny minority of the population on which were single parents. ...read more.


The flat also represents the chain of their life. They move from one run old flat to another that we find out when Jo says, "Every place we find is the same" which shows they are in a cycle they cannot break. Jo and Helen are mother and daughter, but as a reader it's more of a sister relationship. Helen isn't a supportive mother and puts Jo down when she can which we find out when she says "The way she bangs about! I tell you, my head's coming off". In the play there is one part where Helen offers to pay for Jo to go to Art School. Even though she says "Have you ever . . . you'll soon learn" I don't think she means it and follow through with promises. They talk to one and other like they have no respect for each other. Jo doesn't show respect to her mother because she sees no reason to, after all, what has Helen ever done for Jo? Helen also doesn't care for Jo, as she never shows any affection to Jo at all when Jo says, "You've certainly never been affectionate with me". ...read more.


He also tries to drag her to the pub knowing full well she that wasn't feeling well. When Peter is present she always she always wants to be there to get her mothers attention as a way of being spiteful to her. Helen acts as if Peter is an unwanted presence and tries to push him away at every advance he makes on her. But in the end she quite likes him as we find out when she says, "Well, you certainly liberate something in me. And I don't think it's maternal instincts either". The relationships in the first scene are very clear between Jo and Helen as we find out from the first time there is introduced. They fight as soon as they walk through the door of the flat. They both hate each other but in the end they care for each other. The relationship between Helen and Peter isn't that clear as it mentions little history, but from what Helen says he's not very nice person. We do find out that Helen had tried to escape from Peter when she says, "How did you find my address". It's also clear that Jo doesn't like Peter as she tries to ruin Helen's relationship with Peter. Also we know that Peter isn't interested in Jo and we find this out as Peter doesn't show any consideration to Jo's feelings. ...read more.

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