Essay on Social, Cultural, historical elements of A Taste of Honey

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Social, Cultural, historical elements of A Taste of Honey

Introduction:

`A Taste of Honey’ highlights many issues which would have been easily understood for audiences in the 1950s. Many issues are raised in which the audience can relate to. Delaney’s intention was to make the play realistic, as therefore it is highly influenced by
Stavislavski’s “kitchen sink” theatre (genre).

When the play was written, society was very different from today.
Issues such as homosexuality which people at this time weren’t really aware of, therefore it was not accepted. Also status (financial) seems to play a vital role in your future - i.e.you had to be well educated to pass your 11+ to go to the grammar school, which provided the best
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she failed her 11+ and came from a working class background).
Like Stanislavski, she wanted to highlight to society
(middle-classes/upper classes etc) the realities of life for the working class in society and the structure she used (`Soap opera’) would have appealed and attracted to many audiences. Other changes such as free medical attention for everyone was now available, however happiness was regarded as having more material possessions than our friends and neighbours (materialistic).

Homosexuality - There is an insinuation throughout the play that Geof is gay and that his previous landlady threw him out due to his sexual activities, and Jo also shows an interest in this:

‘’I’ve always wanted to know about people like you.’’ (page 48)

‘’I bet you’ve never told a woman before.’’

Delaney only hints at this due to the fact that it would be to
‘shocking’ for a homosexual character to be portrayed in a play, as they were not accepted in society and considered outcasts. This highlighted the prejudices against homosexuals. At this time, they were not accepted throughout society and even if you knew you were gay the discrimination was so high that no-one would dare admit it.
This lead to many problems such as job refusals or loss of jobs and homosexuals were seen as outcasts of society. Anotexample of discrimination against Gays in this play is Helen’s attitude towards
Geof, talking to him with little respect and calling

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