Topics for Further Study

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Discuss the interracial love affair between Jo and the character known as The Boy. In view of her mother’s reaction at the end of Act II, how much of a factor was race in choosing him as a date and later as a lover?

Research the economic conditions of working class women in northern England during the twentieth century. What opportunities existed for women in the working class?

Helen is described as a semi-whore. Discuss the depictions of women’s lives and the poverty of the setting. According to late twentieth-century standards, would Helen still be described in this manner? Do you think that attitudes toward sexuality have changed that dramatically in the last forty years?

Jo has some artistic talent and Geof is attending art school. Late in the play, the audience learns that Jo is able to earn some money touching up photos. Investigate the opportunities for aspiring artists. What kinds of jobs are available and how difficult is it to earn a living?

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