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My Mother Said I Never Should - Character
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My Mother Said I Never Should - Character

This GCSE English Literature quiz will test you on character in My Mother Said I Never Should by Charlotte Keatley. My Mother Said I Never Should is extraordinarily spare in the numbers of characters it has. There are four characters who appear on-stage: Doris, Margaret, Jackie and Rosie. These figures appear as adults (Rosie only reaches the age of sixteen by the end of the play) and as young children. Other important figures are named, but never appear. These are Jack, Ken, and Doris’s mother. In some ways, character is not as important to the play as relationship. Each pair of women has a relationship which is distinguished from that between other pairs, while sharing some similarities.

MARGARET: I'm very sorry Mummy.
DORIS: Mother.
What does Doris's response to her daughter tell the audience about her character?
She maintains formal relationships within the family
She does not love her daughter
She does not feel that Margaret is really her daughter
She believes that Margaret does not love her
She also expects Margaret to refer to her dad as "Father". This formality is strikingly old-fashioned
In Act One, Scene Four, Margaret announces to an empty room that she went out for a meal with an admirer despite being married. How does this relate to her actions later in the play?
Margaret only speaks when no one else is present
Margaret later leaves her husband
Margaret keeps her deepest secrets to herself
All of the above
Margaret avoids answering difficult questions throughout the play and rarely admits to her troubles. Here it is significant that she is speaking to an empty room, rather than to her daughter
Who accuses her mother of having "hang ups" about sex?
The use of the word "hang ups" reflects Jackie's position as a teen in the 60s. Ironically, of course, Jackie later finds herself a struggling single mother. Margaret also has a similar conversation with her own mother, except there she is insisting she won't have children
Which of the following does NOT describe Rosie?
Rosie, who is unafraid to be herself, to speak her mind and to do what she thinks ought to be done, seems to have a chance to escape some of the difficulties the other women of her family have faced in their lives
MARGARET: You've got such opportunities.
JACKIE: Expectations.
JACKIE: Yours.
Which of the following best describes Margaret here?
All of the above
Margaret expects Jackie to fulfil her own ambitions. She tells Jackie that she and Rosie, too, must go further than Margaret and Doris, laying expectations on each generation to achieve more in life
"I never did ask for what I wanted. Resentment is a terrible thing, Jackie. You don't want to be resenting somebody at the end of your life." Of whom is Doris thinking here?
Her mother
Doris resents never challenging Jack on anything, even his choice of colours for decorating their house
In Act Three, Scene Two, Rosie returns from holiday and is described as wearing "sophisticated holiday clothes". Why is this significant?
Rosie's clothing reflects Jackie's taste
Margaret will not allow Rosie to grow up and keeps her dressed in childish clothing
Rosie is reverting to the style of her great-grandmother, who is described as dressing stylishly
Rosie always wears sophisticated clothing
Jackie tries to recreate the relationship she has been denied with her daughter, taking her on holiday, buying her gifts and clothes. Rosie always sees her as the sophisticated, adventurous, successful and generous older sister, however
In the same scene, Rosie describes Jackie's behaviour as restless. Which of the following lines gives this impression?
"Sometimes you have to be a bit silly with Jackie"
"We spent a whole day trekking round museums but she could never find the picture she wanted"
"Jackie got the kite to do a perfect circle in the sky"
"She's so useless at most things"
Rosie perceives how Jackie seems to be searching for something she has lost (she does not realise that she herself was lost by Jackie)
Faced with Jackie's return from holiday, Margaret grumbles that Rosie is overtired, that she won't have a chance to rest before school starts and that all her clothes need washing. What is the motivation for Margaret's grumbles?
Margaret is jealous that Rosie wishes so much to leave her to live with Jackie. She is also grieving for the loss of her child, even though Rosie is firstly Jackie's child
In the final scene, Doris tells her mother about Jack's proposal. What emotion does she most strongly convey in the scene?
All of the above
These emotions are at the very heart of Doris, but have been obscured by the hardships of life, societal expectations and the difficulties of her long marriage
Author:  Sheri Smith

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