Rayne's Park, London, May 1969. The garden of KEN and Margaret's suburban semi. Jackie is
nearly 18, wears flared jeans with sewn-on badges; MARGARET is 38, wears a flowered apron and carries a
tea towel. JACKIE has her red transistor which blares, "All You Need is Love". She sprawls on the grass beside
the cherry tree, next - to the swing. MARGARET follows flustered.
MARGARET [Switches off the transistor]: I should never have let you go to that party in
JACKIE: Please, Mummy, leave me alone.
MARGARET: You said you were staving with his parents!
JACKIE: We were. But they didn't mind us sleeping together. Not everyone has your hangups.
MARGARET: Oh you can wound me sometimes, Jackie!
JACKIE: You sound like Granny now.
MARGARFT: What am I going to tell Daddy?
JACKIE: lf you want me to behave like an adult, then stop treating me like a child!
MARGARET (Pause): You don't know what might happen.
JACKIE: I might fall in love.
MARGARET (Trying to ignore this): You can get pregnant the first time, you know.
JACKIE: Thanks for telling me now.
MARGARET: Well if you'd come to me and said -
JACKIE: Well I did say I wanted to have a talk with you, actually, and you said 'Tell me while we go round the
garden centre', don't you remember? [Slight pause.] Anyway, you can scare me, because I'm on the pill, OK?
MARGARET: Since when?
JACKIE: Since before Neil and I went away at half term. You knew that because you've been
reading my diary.
MARGARET [Momentarily caught): Well I've no idea, you might be on drugs, anything! [Collects herself.) I
know I'm going to sound like an old fuddy duddy, . .. but ... [Stuck) It's a serious step you've taken,
you've no idea -
JACKIE: lt was no big deal. It was a relief to get it over with. I cried afterwards. Then I
laughed. I expect it's better with someone you're in love with.
MARGARET: You could have waited.
MARGARET: I had to.
JACKIE: That's it, isn't it? (Gets up and goes to the house.)
MARGARET: lf this affects your A-levels!
JACKIE [StOPS].- What?
Silence. MARGARET has nothing to say.
JACKIE: I'm going to make a phone call. Phone Neil. [Goes into the house.]
MARGARET (Pause. Picks up JACKIE'S transistor): I had an admirer. He took me to dinner. I'd
never eaten oysters before. - Wouldn't let me see the bill, that sort of man. I was sure
Ken could tell, when I got in. I'd had my hair done, on a Wednesday. [Pause.] Ten years
Source: Charlotte Keatley's My Mother Said I Never Should, Methuen, London
1. a) In what way do 11. 31-34 illustrate the relationship and the differences between mother and daughter?
b) What significance do Margaret's memories have for her and how may they explain her behaviour towards Jackie?
2. Considering Jackie's relationship to her mother, do you think she is telling the truth when she says
sleeping with Neil was no big deal (l. 29)? Give reasons for your opinion.
3. a) The text is a complete scene from a drama. What elements of its form and content
give it its unity?
b)In this scene, how do the stage directions help to characterize Jackie and Margaret?