What are the Feminist perspectives in Look Back in Anger?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think it's hard to find any strong perspectives of Feminism in this play.  I am sorry.  I think there are some tendencies of characters that represent glimpses or "hopes" of Feminism, but that might be it for me.  The first would be that there is an emotional reclamation of voice that Alison undergoes.  When she returns from her father's, she is revealed to have understood more of her own emotional state and her own emotional sense of self.  The miscarriage and time away have allowed her to develop this new conception.  She seemed to have emerged from the emotionally "wet" standard she held in her marriage and time with Jimmy.   This claiming of emotional identity is a critical component in Feminism, for it breaks free from patriarchal and "accepted" notions of identity in place of a free and lasting one created by self.  I think this represents a very strong element of Feminism.  If Alison's emotional catharsis is evident, to a lesser extent, Helena undergoes a similar evolution.  Helena schemed to usurp Aliison's role at the at the start of the third act, she has assumed this function in Jimmy's life.  Her lack of solidarity to a fellow woman, Allison, is about as anti- feminist as one can get.  Yet, she does atone for this in her understanding that what she did was wrong and that she should leave in Act III.  This solidarity shown to Allison, a fellow woman, represents the Feminist desire to create community and strength with one another, as opposed to being divided by the larger social order.

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