What is the social background of Osborne's drama Look Back in Anger?

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Look Back in Anger by John Osborne is a play of the 50s, after World War II and the social scene was rather complex. The world was still recovering from the devastation (economic, human, psycho-moral and so on) of the two World Wars. There was economic depression, end of the imperial era, the beginning of the Cold War, England's dis-empowerment in the political landscape in the post-war context. All this gave the birth to a school of writing that came to be known as the Angry Young Man school. Apart from Osborne's play, other works in the school were Kingsly Amis's Lucky Jim and Allain Sillitoe's novela and some of Arnold Wesker's plays.

This was a kind of Left Wing writing that exposed the social evils, the greed of the power-structure and vented out its acute anger at all this. Porter's anger in the play isĀ  directed likewise. His private anger is also a Freudian compensation for the public. His patriarchal ego being undermined in the fall of the British imperial structure, the problem of educated men being unemployed, the reign of inequality and poverty and all that provokes Porter's reactions in the play.

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