Shelagh Delaney has created a realistic mother & daughter relationship in

Authors Avatar

Shelagh Delaney has created a realistic mother & daughter relationship in “A Taste of Honey”. Do you agree?

        “A Taste of Honey” was written in the 1950’s. This decade was an era of vast changes. Wages almost doubled, and with the “Welfare State” peoples’ fear of paying large sums of money in the event of an emergency was removed. This left people with more money to enjoy themselves. This provided people with new opportunities, such as being able to go to the cinema, visit leisure areas such as museums, theatres, shop more frequently, and could begin to afford the luxuries previously only experienced by the richer class. Items such as cars, refrigerators, and televisions were beginning to spread into many peoples’ homes.

        “A Taste of Honey” is often termed to be a “kitchen sink” drama. A “kitchen sink” drama confronts issues that were being experienced by many. “A Taste of Honey” brought along a new level of realism to the theatre, which was very controversial for its time. Theatre had never before experienced this, as previous forms brought along the ideas that every story has a happy ending.

        Helen is a part time prostitute and the mother of Jo. At the beginning of the play they have just moved into a flat in an industrial area of Manchester, which is very dilapidated, grimy and polluted area. The flat also reflects these surroundings, also being dirty, grimy and dingy.  They both have a very low income, if any, and Jo is adamant that she will leave once she gets a job.  Jo also wishes to leave school, hoping to be able to attend an art college, as she seems to be very creative.

Join now!

        In the first scene, the play is opened with Helen and Jo entering, laden with luggage, into their new flat. Straight away Jo’s feelings about Helen become clear.

                Helen: “Children owe their parents these little attentions”
                Jo: “I don’t owe you a thing.”

        This shows that Jo feels she has no relationship with Helen and that their bond is almost non-existent.  This is also the start of the “traditional” family image being destroyed, threatening the stereo-typical family values which was always portrayed in the theatre of the time.

        At this point in the play, we are lead to believe that ...

This is a preview of the whole essay