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Literature can never be a mere mirror on reality and, therefore, does not simply copy from it, but reinvents it. Yet, it is fair to say that Look Back in Anger as well as other works of literature of the so-called generation of angry young writers such as Osborne and Sillitoe or the films of the British free-cinema were deeply rooted in the artists' reflection and critique of 1950s British society. Thus, through the character of Jimmy Porter, Look Back in Anger gives voice to those working-class British who, although trying to improve their social standing, found themselves marginalized by wealthier social classes. Jimmy's university degree, for example, is not considered prestigious enough and is no help to him to improve his life.
The character of Alison, Jimmy's wife, represents those who, coming from the upper class, have rebelled against what they consider the pretentiousness and hypocritical respectability of their background. Yet, in spite of her rebellion, Alison still retains some of her class social attitudes so that her marriage represents the class conflict of 1950s Britain in microcosm.
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