• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

From dependence to independence. To what degree does Jo mature and become less dependant on others?

Extracts from this document...


From dependence to independence. To what degree does Jo mature and become less dependant on others? "A Taste Of Honey" is a twentieth century play set in the 1950s. It is known as a "kitchen-sink" drama and was written by Shelagh Delaney at the age of 18 and was first performed in May 1958. A "kitchen-sink" drama originated in the literature in the 1950s and 1960s. Its aim is to create a true picture of the hard life and troubles of the working class life. In "A Taste Of Honey" the two main characters are always falling out with each other and the people around them. The conditions they live in are cramped and poor in bedsits or flats. An example of a "kitchen-sink" drama is in "Look Back In Anger" by John Osborne and "Saturday Night And Sunday Morning" by Alan Sillitoe. Plays and dramas in the fifties were performed for the middle and upper classes but then came the debut "kitchen-sink" drama; "Look Back In Anger", which was aimed at the working class. A "kitchen-sink" drama play uses everyday common language to reflect the lives of the working class people portrayed. "A Taste Of Honey" is set in Salford, Manchester. It is about the life and relationship between a young girl, Jo, and her mother, Helen. They move around a lot, and have just moved into a shabby one-bedroomed flat in Salford. Helen is a semi-whore who lives off money which has been given to her by her men friends. Helen also drinks a lot. Jo is fifteen years old and she is very talented in an artistic way and enjoys drawing, but she blames her mother, who she refers to as Helen, for disrupting her education. ...read more.


She wants to leave school and start working as soon as she can. This shows that she acts older than she really is and is mature for her age. In scene 2, we are introduced to Jo's boyfriend. In this part of the play, we know him as "Boy", but later on we find out his name is Jimmie. He is a black sailor in the navy and he asks Jo to marry him. Boy is twenty-two, and Jo lies about her age and tells him she is eighteen. He questions her about what Helen will think about him because he's a coloured boy. Boy: "She hasn't seen me." Jo: "And when she does?" Boy: "She'll see a coloured boy." I think Boy is worried about meeting Jo's mother, as racial prejudice was a big issue in the fifties. Jo tells him, though, that her mother is not prejudice and will not mind, but at the end of the play when Helen finds out that the baby will be black, she starts to get mad. When she finds out, she says, "Oh don't be silly Jo. You'll be giving yourself nightmares." She thinks Jo is pulling her leg but she is serious. When she finally realises that it is true, she doesn't care what people will think of Jo, but what people will think of herself. "Can you see me wheeling a pram with a... Oh my God, I'll have to have a drink." Boy has to go away for six months, and he reassures her he'll be back. I think Jo 'thinks' she loves Boy, but doesn't expect him to return, because when he says he is going, Jo says her "Heart's broke". ...read more.


At the end of the play, Helen tries to hint that she wants Geof to leave so she can move back in. she thinks she could look after Jo better than Geof, even after the months she has missed. "There wouldn't be much room for two of us on the couch, would there?" The only hint of love from Helen for Jo throughout the play is when Jo is having contractions and Helen strokes her hair, saying everything will be all right. This is the only time in the play when Helen is shown to be supportive of Jo. It shows Jo is independent and has matured, because when Helen doesn't know how to use the stove, Jo tells her, whereas this time last year, it was the other way around. When Geof leaves, and Helen finds out about the baby being black, she says she's going for a drink. This part reflects the beginning, when Helen abandons Jo at Christmas. Unfortunately just when Jo needs her mother the most, she leaves her yet again. When she's out the door, Jo leans against the doorpost, remembering the good times with Geof and smiling to herself, as she recites a rhyme that Geof taught her. This shows that she is now dependant on herself, and knows she can cope by herself, because she was left alone the year before, and knows she can do it again. Jo's "Taste Of Honey" was when she met Jimmie, but in my opinion, I think her "Taste Of Honey" was the time she spent with Geof, because he taught her a lot of things in life, and throughout the play you can see how she has matured, and adopted a more serious attitude towards life. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Shelagh Delaney section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Shelagh Delaney essays

  1. When Shelagh Delaney began working on A Taste of Honey, she intended it to ...

    had sex with her he just ran away because he wasn't intersted in Jo at all he just wanted sex and once he got it he left that is why Helen always waits and untill she thinks that the time is right then she will sleep with the guy.

  2. A Taste of Honey

    So if he gets married people won't 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, 'I'd sooner be dead than away from you.'

  1. Geof is the only genuine caring character in the play; the others are totally ...

    Jimmy the black boy from the navy who got Jo pregnant gave the impression of a kind and genuine character who did honestly love Jo until he left. In my opinion he loved her and did intend to return for her but got scared of the prejudice he would face if he did return.

  2. In "A Taste of Honey" Shelagh Delaney presents Jo as a young woman looking ...

    her father is, and this sort of conversation appears to be a serious issue between mother and daughter. Jo seems to feel resentment towards her mother, by the way she says "you liar". By hiding this important piece of information to Jo, I believe that Helen has disrespected her daughter in various aspects.

  1. Year 10 pre 1914 drama coursework

    We get the impression that Helen and Jo move houses a lot as Jo starts talking about previous houses that they have been in and different schools that Jo has been to. In the scene they ague about the flat they have moved into as Helen like it but Jo

  2. Taste of Honey - Explore the likely similarities and differences between the audience ...

    To think that a mother is promoting it is absurd! From the drama we can conclude that Jo hasn't had a terrific upbringing. Helen is a semi-whore who seems to have a very limited interest in her daughter. The education of Jo is of a mere passing interest to Helen,

  1. A Taste of Honey: From dependence to independence.

    A taste is a very small amount for a short period of time. Honey is sweet, and therefore honey represents good. From Jo's point of view, her life is bad. The only good thing in her life in the whole play is Jimmie, and he leaves almost straight away.

  2. 'A Taste of Honey' by Shelagh Delaney examines the relationship between a mother and ...

    In a typical family their roles would be reversed. Jo thinks Helen acts too young for her age and not enough like a mother. She doesn't believe Helen cares for her like a mother should. Jo says, "I'm sick of you.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work