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Evaluate Key Quotes and Their Impact in 'A Taste of Honey'

In this worksheet, students will evaluate the impact of quotations in 'A Taste of Honey' by analysing the techniques used in them and exploring how they reflect the context in which Delaney was writing.

'Evaluate Key Quotes and Their Impact in 'A Taste of Honey'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

To achieve the highest marks in the exam, you will need to analyse quotations closely.

 

Try to zoom in on different parts of a quotation to explore the connotations of words. 

 

For example, in the quotation:

 

"When they enter the flat they have been playing with a bunch of brightly coloured balloons."

balloons

 

magnifying glass... you might zoom in on the word "playing" - this word suggests something that children do, perhaps reminding us of Jo's youthful innocence.

 

magnifying glass....you might zoom in on the words "brightly coloured- these words might suggest a brightness and happiness, perhaps revealing Jo's emotions at this point in the play, as she is with Geof, who she feels most comfortable with.

 

 

When you need to support a point in your exam response, you should try to choose the quotation carefully - which quotation illustrates your point the best?

 

To evaluate the impact of a quotation, you will also need to analyse the techniques used in the quotation and explain how the quotation reflects something about the context in which Delaney was writing.

 

Now have a go at the following questions, which will help you to evaluate the impact of some of the key quotations in 'A Taste of Honey.'

In Act one, Scene one Peter talks about the "ghastly district" that Helen and Jo live in.

 

Which explanation best evaluates the impact of the following quotation?

 

"Tenements, cemetery, slaughterhouse."

 

Peter's description of the surroundings gives the audience an image of the setting around Helen and Jo's flat

Delaney employs Peter's dialogue to build an image of the terrible living conditions Helen and Jo suffered. The image of a 'cemetery' and 'slaughterhouse' evoke images of death and depression, creating a very dark atmosphere around where they live. Here Delaney presents the poor living conditions that many working class families endured during the 1950's

The focus on a 'cemetery' and a 'slaughterhouse' are suggestive of death, creating a sense of foreboding for Helen and Jo's future

watering can watering plant

 

Jo is shown to be optimistic that she can change her life for the better.

 

Complete the passage below evaluating the impact of the quotation:

 

"I hope they bloom."

Peter's description of the surroundings gives the audience an image of the setting around Helen and Jo's flat

Delaney employs Peter's dialogue to build an image of the terrible living conditions Helen and Jo suffered. The image of a 'cemetery' and 'slaughterhouse' evoke images of death and depression, creating a very dark atmosphere around where they live. Here Delaney presents the poor living conditions that many working class families endured during the 1950's

The focus on a 'cemetery' and a 'slaughterhouse' are suggestive of death, creating a sense of foreboding for Helen and Jo's future

What is the effect of the imagery in the following quotation?

 

"I'm not frightened of the darkness outside. It's the darkness inside houses I don't like."

 

Delaney suggests that Jo is fearful 'inside' because her house is falling apart and disgusting

'Darkness' has connotations of the unknown. The way in which Jo relates her fear of 'darkness' to 'inside' suggests that it is her family life with her mother that she is most fearful of, as it is full of uncertainty and feelings of insecurity

The symbolism of darkness is used in the play. We also see Delaney juxtaposing this symbolism against light symbolism.

 

In the first two pages of Act two, Scene one, which quotation uses light symbolism?

 

light bulb

 

Remember to use quotation marks.

The dialogue between Jo and the Boy is often light hearted and sometimes humorous.

 

However, Delaney employs their relationship in the play to explore some of the misconceptions in 1950's society about the way in which people of other races were viewed.

 

Underline the word in the following quotation which highlights that during the 1950's people considered people of different races to be foreign and exotic.

\"I don\'t care where you were born. There\'s still a bit of jungle in you somewhere\"

Delaney makes some allusions to other literature in her play to add additional meaning. Complete the passage below analysing the quotation:

 

"Let me be your Othello and you my Desdemona."

 

\"I don\'t care where you were born. There\'s still a bit of jungle in you somewhere\"

Match the quotations below to the effect they have in presenting a character or theme.

Column A

Column B

"We're all at the steering wheel of our own destin...
Delaney uses imagery to show Helen's contradictory...
"Oh Jo, I've forgotten how we used to light this t...
Delaney highlights the innocence of childhood thro...
"Children are heard singing in the street"
The domestic action in the play serves to highligh...
"They never grew"
The symbolism of the dead bulbs is used by Delaney...

To revise the techniques you might look for in quotations, match the quotations below to the technique used.

 IronyDark humourImagery related to deathMetaphorSimileAllusionAction in the stage directionsChildhood songs and nursery rhymes
"As I was going up pippin hill"
"Suddenly and violently flinging the doll to the ground"
"We're all at the steering wheel of our own destiny"
"Like a coffin only not half as comfortable"
"You know I can't bear to be parted from you"
"I've always said we should be used for manure when we're gone"
"Careering along like drunken drivers"
"It sounds like Ibsen's ghosts"

It is now time to have a go at some extended writing, practising analysing quotations.

 

Try to zoom in on key parts of a quotation and explore the connotations of words.

 

Remember, for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Delaney and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which she was writing.

 

The following question is worded to encourage you to write about the techniques used by Delaney.

 

Task: How does Delaney present Jo and Helen as contrasting characters in Act one, Scene one?

 

Try to write two paragraphs.

 

Now have a go at a mini essay question.

 

Remember, for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Delaney and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which she was writing.

 

Task: Write about ideas of responsibility in 'A Taste of Honey'.

 

Try to write three paragraphs.

  • Question 1

In Act one, Scene one Peter talks about the "ghastly district" that Helen and Jo live in.

 

Which explanation best evaluates the impact of the following quotation?

 

"Tenements, cemetery, slaughterhouse."

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Delaney employs Peter's dialogue to build an image of the terrible living conditions Helen and Jo suffered. The image of a 'cemetery' and 'slaughterhouse' evoke images of death and depression, creating a very dark atmosphere around where they live. Here Delaney presents the poor living conditions that many working class families endured during the 1950's
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? All of the explanations are accurate, but the second one is the most effective in evaluating the impact of the quotation. Notice how words were zoomed in on, their connotations were explored and then a link was made to the context in which Delaney was writing. This is what you should aim to include in your own analysis of quotations.
  • Question 2

watering can watering plant

 

Jo is shown to be optimistic that she can change her life for the better.

 

Complete the passage below evaluating the impact of the quotation:

 

"I hope they bloom."

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Notice how the explanation zooms in and explores the connotations of a word in the full quotation. The explanation also explains how this quotation reflects something about the context in which Delaney was writing. Delaney uses a lot of symbolism in the play, which is an excellent technique to show off your analytical skills with. The symbolism of the bulbs show Jo trying to bring beauty into otherwise terrible living conditions. Alongside her comments about wanting independence and to earn her own money, this symbolism allows Delaney to depict a youthful optimism in Jo, representative of the 1950's younger generation, who were beginning to show a shift in attitude from their parents.
  • Question 3

What is the effect of the imagery in the following quotation?

 

"I'm not frightened of the darkness outside. It's the darkness inside houses I don't like."

 

CORRECT ANSWER
'Darkness' has connotations of the unknown. The way in which Jo relates her fear of 'darkness' to 'inside' suggests that it is her family life with her mother that she is most fearful of, as it is full of uncertainty and feelings of insecurity
EDDIE SAYS
Darkness is another use of symbolism in the play. The connotation of uncertainty in her relationship with her mother is explored in the explanation above. Notice how the first explanation is also accurate, but doesn't explore the connotations of the words in the quotation. Look out for other examples of where Delaney uses the symbolism of darkness and learn these quotations for the exam.
  • Question 4

The symbolism of darkness is used in the play. We also see Delaney juxtaposing this symbolism against light symbolism.

 

In the first two pages of Act two, Scene one, which quotation uses light symbolism?

 

light bulb

 

Remember to use quotation marks.

CORRECT ANSWER
"(switches on light)"
"switches on light"
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find it? If darkness represents uncertainty, light represents the opposite! As Jo "switches on light" she says "Come on, the truth", which highlights how light symbolism represents truth and honesty in the play. Here Jo is trying to find out why Geof was kicked out of his apartment. Indeed "light" very much represents the more truthful and secure relationship that Jo has with Geof.
  • Question 5

The dialogue between Jo and the Boy is often light hearted and sometimes humorous.

 

However, Delaney employs their relationship in the play to explore some of the misconceptions in 1950's society about the way in which people of other races were viewed.

 

Underline the word in the following quotation which highlights that during the 1950's people considered people of different races to be foreign and exotic.

CORRECT ANSWER
"I don't care where you were born. There's still a bit of jungle in you somewhere"
EDDIE SAYS
"Jungle" is the key word in this quotation, because it really shows what people during the 1950's thought about people of other races. Delaney highlights the irony of this and emphasises the fact that the colour of you skin does not necessarily make you any less British than a white person. Jo asks if the Boy's ancestors came "from Africa". His response is presented comically when he says "No. Cardiff", but really stresses the lack of understanding behind the prejudice around race during the 1950's.
  • Question 6

Delaney makes some allusions to other literature in her play to add additional meaning. Complete the passage below analysing the quotation:

 

"Let me be your Othello and you my Desdemona."

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Delaney uses a lot of foreshadowing to suggest that Jo's relationship with the Boy will not survive. This is another technique you can write about to show analysis of the writer's craft in your exam response. What other examples of foreshadowing can you find in this scene?
  • Question 7

Match the quotations below to the effect they have in presenting a character or theme.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

"We're all at the steering wheel ...
Delaney uses imagery to show Hele...
"Oh Jo, I've forgotten how we use...
The domestic action in the play s...
"Children are heard singing in th...
Delaney highlights the innocence ...
"They never grew"
The symbolism of the dead bulbs i...
EDDIE SAYS
In the exam, you'll be asked to write about a character or theme. Analysing the effect of quotations and looking at what they show us is an important part of your exam response. To show that you are writing about the writer's craft, try to refer to 'Delaney's use of...' or 'Delaney employs...' to make it clear to the examiner that you're focusing on how Delaney has crafted the play.
  • Question 8

To revise the techniques you might look for in quotations, match the quotations below to the technique used.

CORRECT ANSWER
 IronyDark humourImagery related to deathMetaphorSimileAllusionAction in the stage directionsChildhood songs and nursery rhymes
"As I was going up pippin hill"
"Suddenly and violently flinging the doll to the ground"
"We're all at the steering wheel of our own destiny"
"Like a coffin only not half as comfortable"
"You know I can't bear to be parted from you"
"I've always said we should be used for manure when we're gone"
"Careering along like drunken drivers"
"It sounds like Ibsen's ghosts"
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? As you build your bank of quotations to learn for the exam, practise identifying what techniques have been used in them to show that you can analyse the writer's craft. Remember also, that writer's craft isn't just about language - you should also consider the structural features of the play and consider the dramatic effects that Delaney uses. Most importantly though, for the highest marks, you need to evaluate the impact of these techniques - what do they show the audience about a character/theme? How do they help reflect the context in which Delaney was writing?
  • Question 9

It is now time to have a go at some extended writing, practising analysing quotations.

 

Try to zoom in on key parts of a quotation and explore the connotations of words.

 

Remember, for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Delaney and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which she was writing.

 

The following question is worded to encourage you to write about the techniques used by Delaney.

 

Task: How does Delaney present Jo and Helen as contrasting characters in Act one, Scene one?

 

Try to write two paragraphs.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A paragraph might look like this: Delaney highlights the contrasting attitudes that Helen and Jo have towards life through her use of the bulb symbolism. After setting the scene for the audience and highlighting the dire living conditions, Delaney shows that Jo wants to "unpack her bulbs" and goes on to say "I hope they bloom". While the use of the word "hope" highlights Jo's optimistic nature, the word "bloom" here suggests that Jo is putting the effort into growing something that will be beautiful. At the same time, Delaney presents Helen's pessimism with her negative question "Why do you bother?", which emphasises the contrasting attitudes towards life that the two women hold. Delaney shows how it was the younger generation during the 1950's who were showing a shift in attitude from their parents and showing a desire to earn their own money and independence. Delaney highlights that Helen is stuck in the working class trap with her quite depressing and fatalistic attitude to life.
  • Question 10

Now have a go at a mini essay question.

 

Remember, for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Delaney and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which she was writing.

 

Task: Write about ideas of responsibility in 'A Taste of Honey'.

 

Try to write three paragraphs.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A paragraph might look something like this: Delaney presents Jo as determined to take responsibility for her baby and bring it up as a working mother when she says "I can work for the baby myself". Delaney shows Jo to be typical of the generational shift in attitude that was happening during the 1950's, where teenagers were breaking free of their parent's attitudes and showing more determination to earn their own money and independence. Indeed, she also shows Jo to subvert the traditional gender role of the stay at home mother during the 1950's. At the same time, Delaney also forces the audience to question whether Jo will actually be able to show this level of responsibility when she shows Jo using such aggressive language, expressing her anger at the baby, saying !I'll bash it's brains out". The accompanying action in the stage directions of "Suddenly and violently flinging the baby to the ground" evokes an image of abuse and neglect that we associate more with Helen, drawing similarities between her and Jo. In this way, Delaney raises questions about Jo's ability to be a responsible parent to a child she doesn't want. We are however, left with the image of Jo "smiling a little to herself" in Delaney's stage directions at the end, perhaps suggesting that Jo is hopeful after all, that she can bring the baby up as a independent and responsible mother.
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