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Jimmy Porter’s Anger: In John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger

Jimmy Porter, one of the main characters in John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, is explicitly angry throughout the whole play. In the play, many causes of Jimmy’s anger become clear, due to the way he behaves, reacts, and feels. For example, “the snobbish materialism of a middle class whose organization of Society has left no niche for his intelligence, talent, and imagination, and has forced him instead into the humiliating role of shopkeeper” (Huss 20), “the ridiculous, hypocritical, anachronistic, cowardly, empty society in which he lives” (Faber 77), and “in the post-war, post-empire era of immigration and changing political economy, he feels [ . . . ] that he simply does not have a chance” (Bhatia 395) could be reasons of his anger. Although these are causes of his hatred, Jimmy’s rage has also to do with existentialism, characteristics of kitchen sink drama, consequences of the Education Act of 1944, people who have died in his youth, and rituals, including church. In order to support this statement, the book, Look Back in Anger, will be close-read, alongside of Roy Huss’s text about Jimmy’s anger, an article by M. D. Faber, about Jimmy’s character in general, a text about anger, nostalgia, and the end of empire, written by Nandi Bhatia, and various other texts to explain concepts such as the Education Act of 1944 and a kitchen sink drama.

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Look Back in Anger
John Osborne
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