A Taste of Honey: characters

A Taste of Honey: characters

Main Characters

  • Helen: She is a central character in the play. A single mother to Jo, Helen often demonstrates a tendency towards hedonism. She is depicted as irresponsible, self-indulgent, and neglectful. However, she also shows signs of caring for her daughter despite her failings. She has a quick wit and a sharp tongue.

  • Jo: Jo is Helen’s teenage daughter, a bright but neglected girl with little guidance from her mother. During the play, she falls pregnant by a black sailor named Jimmy. She is strong-willed and independent, demonstrating her resilience and resourcefulness in her difficult circumstances.

Supporting Characters

  • Peter: Peter is Helen’s boyfriend who later becomes her husband. Peter is portrayed as arrogant, flashy, and selfish. He shows little regard for Helen’s feelings or Jo’s wellbeing.

  • Geoffrey: Geoffrey is a caring individual and a supportive figure in Jo’s life during her pregnancy. His homosexuality is rejected by society in the time the play is set.

  • Jimmy: Jimmy is the sailor who has a brief relationship with Jo and fathers her child. Jimmy symbolises the temporary happiness and affection that Jo is shown before he moves away, leaving Jo to raise their child alone.

Character Study Tips

The characters in ‘A Taste of Honey’ are complex, vulnerable, and multi-faceted. Their personalities and experiences help explore key themes of poverty, class, race, gender, and sexuality in post-WWII Britain. Comprehending their motivations, their relationships, and how they evolve throughout the play will assist in understanding the text.

When revising these characters, consider how their circumstances and interactions contribute to the overall narrative in the play. Try to explore the characters from various angles to gain a comprehensive understanding of their personalities, motivations, and decisions. Practice writing essay plans focusing on different characters and prepare to answer potential questions about their roles in the play.