A Taste of Honey

Shelagh Delaney was the author of the play A Taste of Honey. She was born in Broughton, Salford where she attended her three primary schooling. Her ambition was always to write that is why at her early age, she began writing. Unfortunately, the performance of Delaney was fair only as seen in her achievements in the early part of her career. She was not known for her writing that is why she focuses on how to develop her writing skills (McCully).

Delaney was a late bloomer in terms of her development in writing skills. In fact, when she started writing her novel, A Taste of Honey, she realized that it will be better to transform the novel into a play. Then eventually, the written novel was changed into a play.

The main story of the play focused on a teen-aged working class girl refuses to conform to her dreary surroundings. The play tells the viewer typical social problems of Britain like poverty. The play director, Joan Littlewood, suggested that the play must be portrayed by a simple or typical girl which the director based it from what the novel wants to impart to the audience.
Before going to the analytical and deep discussion on the play A Taste of Honey, it is better to summarize first the play. The main characters of the play are Josephine, Helen, Peter, The Boy, and Geoffrey.
The Boy is a black sailor who was in love with Josephine but did not seen much in the play. Before he goes to the sea were he intended to leave for six months, he asked Josephine to marry him and gave her a ring as a sign of his love to her. From the play, The Boy impregnates Josephine.   Helen is the mother of Josephine. At the beginning of the play, she and her daughter had moved into a chilly and unclean flat house. Josephine was the product of Helen’s brief relation to a man who had divorced her eventually.
The character of Helen was a hardened, middle-aged, working class alcoholic mother, while Peter is a young, wealthy man from London who was the reason why Helen leaves her daughter to start a new life. And the last main character is Geoffrey, a homosexual who happened to be Josephine’s roommate after she moved to another place. Geoffrey is the one who take care Josephine when she is still pregnant (Delaney).
 The story is all about the adolescent of a normal girl, Josephine, a young working-class girl, is left alone and pregnant when her saloon-frequenting mother runs off to get married, and her lover, a Black sailor, returns to duty never to be seen again, but she finds help and friendship with Geoffrey, a homosexual art student.
The stages of adolescence
The purpose of this paper is to have a deep analysis or critical review about the play and focusing on the stages of adolescences of the main character who is Josephine.
We know that all of us will undergo the stage of adolescence. Males and females have different stage or development periods just to say they are going or undergoing on the adulthood. The adolescence period is one of the struggle and sometimes turmoil as the adolescent strives to develop a personal identity and achieve a successful transition from childhood to adulthood (Estes).
The above paragraph shows the true meaning of adolosence period in a more technical or scientific manner. Though this can be considered for this paper, but I think what is more important to analyze are the changes that undergoes an adolescent in terms of psychological, mental, social and cultural changes. The psychological, cognitive and social changes associated with adolescences are the most complex and profound in any development period.
Physical and sexual maturities are reached during adolescence with girls tending to experience both puberty and growth spurt earlier than boys. Although Josephine had a sexual relation with The Boy, this cannot be associated only with the sexual maturity of Josephine but more deep which is the social and emotional condition of Josephine when she decided to have sexual relation. This part will be discussed as we go along the way.
A normal adolescence period will have developed increasingly sophisticated cognitive and interpersonal skills, test out adult roles and behaviors and begin to explore educational and occupational opportunities that will significantly influence future adult work life and socioeconomic status. In the case of Josephine, her personal strength was tested when she was left by her mother in exchange to the wealthy man.
Josephine strived not only for herself but also for her child who is still in her womb. Josephine had learned to deal with other people in order to survive from the harsh environment. She first met The Boy who had shown affection for Josephine. In adolescence period, there will come a time that we will be attracted to the opposite sex and this what Josephine experienced in the middle part of the play.
They both had a short affair. Due to alienation and loneliness, she decided to have sex relation with The Boy. There are many reasons why a person undergoing adolescence period wants to engage into sex. Some is for the physical and sexual maturity while others is because they have some emotional and social problems and thought that having sex will eliminate all these problems. In the case of Josephine, I think she has deeper purpose why she decided have sex and not only for physical maturity (Savage).
I think the main reason why Josephine had undergone a not so normal adolescence stage is because her abnormal social and economic status of their family. Single parent is one of the sensitive issues in our society because it concerns children physical, mental, and emotional development. From the play, Josephine has single-parent households.
We know for the fact that our parents are the ones who have the major responsibility in caring, teaching and nurturing the values needed in our development as a child and as adulthood (Belcastro). They are the one who will guide and stand behind us in every steps, decisions, choices as well our falls. Without them, there can only be two ways where we will go, the right way or the wrong way.
If the personality of the person is weak, then he or she will be easily go to the wrong path of adolescence period while if the person does not being hindered by many physical, emotional and social problems, then he or she can overcome all these and will go to the right path.
These problems that were represented from the play were all good picture of what the country, Great Britain, is experiencing when Delaney wrote it. I think the author want to emphasize every problem to the viewers and internalize on how to deal with these. The author wants to impart or educate on what is really happening in their society. This is like a call to response on these problems on which she used the abnormal stage of adolescence.

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