The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Affordable pricing from £10/month

Identify Key Themes in 'A Taste of Honey'

In this worksheet, students will revise the key themes in 'A Taste of Honey'.

'Identify Key Themes in 'A Taste of Honey'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   Eduqas, AQA

Curriculum topic:   Post-1914 Prose / Drama, Modern Texts: Drama

Curriculum subtopic:   A Taste of Honey

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

        

 

How do the images above reflect some of the themes explored in Shelagh Delaney's 'A Taste of Honey'?

 

Some of the themes that Delaney explores are:

 

Responsibility

 

Mother and Daughter relationships

 

Love and affection

 

Dependence and independence

 

Race

 

Class

 

Gender

 

Happiness or 'A Taste of Honey'

 

In the exam you might be asked to comment on the presentation of a theme.

 

You will need to know which parts of the play explore each of these and will need to be able to use key quotations which demonstrate these themes.

 

Have a go at the following questions to revise the key themes Delaney explores in the play.

                                         

Responsibility is a key theme explored by Delaney in 'A Taste of Honey'.

 

Which main character does Delaney present not taking responsibility?

Which quotations below show that perhaps Jo will take more responsibility as a mother than her mother did?

"I can work for the baby myself"

"I don't want to be a mother. I don't want to be a woman"

"I've got to work all day in a shoe shop and all night in a bar to pay for it. But it's mine. All mine"

Love and affection is another theme in 'A Taste of Honey.' We see this theme explored through the different relationships in the play.

 

Match the quotations below to what Delaney is showing us about the theme of love and affection.

Column A

Column B

"You've certainly never been affectionate with me"
Delaney shows that Jo feels a lack of affection fr...
"I adore you"
Delaney presents Helen and Peter's relationship as...
"You see, it's not marrying love between us, thank...
The relationship between Jo and the Boy is present...
"I could throw you out tomorrow"
Delaney presents Jo and Geof's relationship as one...

The mother and daughter relationship is another key theme in the play. Which words below accurately describe how Delaney presents the relationship between Helen and Jo?

Affectionate

Resentful

Inconsistent

Hostile

Respectful

Supportive

Dependence and Independence is explored as a theme in 'A Taste of Honey.'

 

Which quotation in Act one, Scene one best shows how Jo wishes to seek independence from her mother? Remember to use quotation marks.

While Jo seeks independence, there are suggestions throughout the play that she still seeks the security of depending on someone.

 

Click on the quotations below where Delaney shows Jo's need to depend on someone.

"I always want you here with me because I know you'll never ask anything from me."

"I can work for the baby myself"

"I can do anything when I set my mind to it."

"You know, I wish she was here all the same"

Delaney represents race and mixed race relationships as a theme in the play.

 

Which part of the quotation below shows how Jo is different to the majority of society at the time and is more open-minded about having a relationship with a black man?

 

Underline the key word in the sentence that highlights this difference.

 

\"You\'re the first girl I\'ve met who really didn\'t care\"

Which character in the play highlights how 1950's society usually viewed mixed race relationships?

Delaney also presents the theme of gender in the play in many different ways.

 

Match the quotations below to the comment Delaney is making about gender.

Column A

Column B

"Bloody little pansy"
Delaney explores the how the idea of being a singl...
"I don't want to be a mother. I don't want to be a...
Helen's abusive language reflects prejudice agains...
"I've always wanted to know about people like you"
Delaney explores the gender stereotype of women be...
"You can't be on your own"
Jo's questioning of Geof reveals the taboo that wa...

Class is another theme explored by Delaney in 'A Taste of Honey.'

 

Complete the passage below to consider how the theme is explored in the play.

Column A

Column B

"Bloody little pansy"
Delaney explores the how the idea of being a singl...
"I don't want to be a mother. I don't want to be a...
Helen's abusive language reflects prejudice agains...
"I've always wanted to know about people like you"
Delaney explores the gender stereotype of women be...
"You can't be on your own"
Jo's questioning of Geof reveals the taboo that wa...
  • Question 1

Responsibility is a key theme explored by Delaney in 'A Taste of Honey'.

 

Which main character does Delaney present not taking responsibility?

CORRECT ANSWER
Helen
EDDIE SAYS
Helen is presented very early on the play as a character who has neglected her parental responsibilities. As the play progresses, we also see Helen walking away from her daughter again, prioritising the men she's having relationships with over her role as a mother.
  • Question 2

Which quotations below show that perhaps Jo will take more responsibility as a mother than her mother did?

CORRECT ANSWER
"I can work for the baby myself"
"I've got to work all day in a shoe shop and all night in a bar to pay for it. But it's mine. All mine"
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get both answers? Jo certainly shows some determination in earning her own money to get a place of her own, and to provide for the baby herself as a working mother. Her hard working nature is highlighted by Delaney as a contrast to her mother who makes "immoral earnings" from the men she has relationships with.
  • Question 3

Love and affection is another theme in 'A Taste of Honey.' We see this theme explored through the different relationships in the play.

 

Match the quotations below to what Delaney is showing us about the theme of love and affection.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

"You've certainly never been affe...
Delaney shows that Jo feels a lac...
"I adore you"
The relationship between Jo and t...
"You see, it's not marrying love ...
Delaney presents Jo and Geof's re...
"I could throw you out tomorrow"
Delaney presents Helen and Peter'...
EDDIE SAYS
Delaney allows us to compare all of the different relationships in the play and, in doing so, we see where there is genuine love and care and where it's missing. Jo makes it very obvious that she feels a lack of affection from her mother and then seems to seek this missing affection in her other relationships, first the Boy and then in Geof. Notice how Jo's relationships with the men in her life are very different from the relationship Helen has formed with Peter - Jo certainly looks for respect and security in her relationships, whereas Peter is unreliable and at times abusive.
  • Question 4

The mother and daughter relationship is another key theme in the play. Which words below accurately describe how Delaney presents the relationship between Helen and Jo?

CORRECT ANSWER
Resentful
Inconsistent
Hostile
EDDIE SAYS
Delaney certainly presents an inconsistency in their relationship - on the whole, we see Jo and Helen arguing and blaming each other for ruining their lives. They're critical of each other and sometimes even abusive. Jo comments on the lack of affection in their relationship, but, at times, we do get a glimmer of the genuine care they have for each other. Underneath the hostility there are certainly hints of their dependence on each other.
  • Question 5

Dependence and Independence is explored as a theme in 'A Taste of Honey.'

 

Which quotation in Act one, Scene one best shows how Jo wishes to seek independence from her mother? Remember to use quotation marks.

CORRECT ANSWER
"Get out of your sight as soon as I can get a bit of money in my pocket"
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find the right quote? Very early on in the play, Delaney highlights how Jo is desperate to leave her mother's home, earn her own money and be able to afford her own place. We see her achieve this later in the play, when we learn that she has her own place but is working two jobs to afford it.
  • Question 6

While Jo seeks independence, there are suggestions throughout the play that she still seeks the security of depending on someone.

 

Click on the quotations below where Delaney shows Jo's need to depend on someone.

CORRECT ANSWER
"I always want you here with me because I know you'll never ask anything from me."
"You know, I wish she was here all the same"
EDDIE SAYS
We do see Jo wishing her mother was back with her at the end of her pregnancy, perhaps highlighting how her relationship with her mother is important to her, especially when she could share her own journey into motherhood with her. Delaney also shows how Jo feels most safe and secure when Geof is around. Jo knows that she can depend on Geof and the ending stage direction "smiling a little to herself - she remembers Geof" could be interpreted as Jo's happiness in thinking that Geof will be by her side despite her mother leaving again. At this point, Jo is not aware that Geof has also left.
  • Question 7

Delaney represents race and mixed race relationships as a theme in the play.

 

Which part of the quotation below shows how Jo is different to the majority of society at the time and is more open-minded about having a relationship with a black man?

 

Underline the key word in the sentence that highlights this difference.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"You're the first girl I've met who really didn't care"
EDDIE SAYS
The fact that Jo is the "first" girl not to care just shows how prejudiced society still was about different races and mixed race relationships. Delaney also highlights here how revolutionary Jo is as a character who's willing to go against what the rest of society is thinking or doing.
  • Question 8

Which character in the play highlights how 1950's society usually viewed mixed race relationships?

CORRECT ANSWER
Helen
EDDIE SAYS
Jo only reveals to Helen at the end of the play that the "baby will be black." Helen's reaction is key here in Delaney's representation of a close-minded, judgemental society that was only concerned with their reputation. Helen shows shock and dismay when she says "Can you see me wheeling a pram with a … Oh my God." Helen then leaves Jo before the birth of her baby, leaving the audience unsure about whether she will return.
  • Question 9

Delaney also presents the theme of gender in the play in many different ways.

 

Match the quotations below to the comment Delaney is making about gender.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

"Bloody little pansy"
Helen's abusive language reflects...
"I don't want to be a mother. I d...
Delaney explores the gender stere...
"I've always wanted to know about...
Jo's questioning of Geof reveals ...
"You can't be on your own"
Delaney explores the how the idea...
EDDIE SAYS
Lots of issues surrounding gender roles are explored in the play. There's clearly much prejudice around homosexuality and, although Jo genuinely cares for Geof, she shows how unspoken homosexuality was with her intrigue. Remember that it was actually still illegal at the time Delaney was writing. Delaney also explores the gender stereotype of a woman and shows how women were limited by their roles as mothers/wives, and Jo clearly shows contempt for this. Even Geof suggests that Jo can't be on her own, which is still a very patriarchal view from one of the more open minded characters in the play.
  • Question 10

Class is another theme explored by Delaney in 'A Taste of Honey.'

 

Complete the passage below to consider how the theme is explored in the play.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find all four words? The opening scene gives the audience lots of detail about Jo and Helen's lives. The dialogue between the two characters reveals a lot about their poor living conditions and highlights how little money they have. Peter's reaction - "Nobody could live in place like this" - really emphasises their poverty. Delaney represents a 1950's working class family here and the struggles they faced.
---- OR ----

Sign up for a £1 trial so you can track and measure your child's progress on this activity.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started
laptop

Start your £1 trial today.
Subscribe from £10/month.