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Critically comment on the view that in 'Look Back in Anger' Jimmy & Alison are made...

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srksrkk | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted April 28, 2011 at 4:49 PM via web

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Critically comment on the view that in 'Look Back in Anger' Jimmy & Alison are made for each other & there is no solution for either of them.

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kc4u | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted June 15, 2011 at 10:29 PM (Answer #1)

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I do not subscribe to the view that Jimmy and Alison are "made for each other". I, however, agree that "there is no solution for either of them". Alison, the daughter of a Colonel and the sister of a Member of Parliament, belongs to the upper middle class Establishment which Jimmy so strongly opposes. Alison marries Jimmy in spite of her parents' avowed disapproval, primarily to register a rebellion against elitist normatives. Perhaps she also feels some kind of adolescent admiration for the proletarian young man. But the decently-groomed and submissive Alison is never happy in her married life. Just after their marriage she and Jimmy live in the working class colony of Poplar in the flat of Jimmy's activist-friend, Hugh.She remembers those days with consternation and fear. Living in the Midlands apartment, Alison still suffers because of Jimmy's abusive anger and hostility. The presence of Cliff alleviates Alison's suffering, but she and her husband never look settled in a stable conjugal relationship.

Colonel Redfern accuses his daughter of "sitting on the fence", of marrying Jimmy without being committed to his attitude to life. It is true that both Alison and Jimmy are trapped in a situation which has no exit-route except the fairy-tale escapade in the world of bears and squirrels. It is also true that they love each other despite their mutual tussles and differences. But, by no chance, they are the typical "made for each other" couple. Just as Jimmy can not but be angry and disillusioned, Alison has to come back to Jimmy after the shattering experience of miscarriage. There is no solution but to stay somehow together in their Midlands hell with the same occasional pastime of the bear and squirrel game.

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