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Write a short note on theme of alienation in Look Back in Anger.

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jaimisra | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 7, 2011 at 8:12 PM via web

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Write a short note on theme of alienation in Look Back in Anger.

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted June 20, 2011 at 1:48 PM (Answer #1)

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Osborne's play Look Back in Anger explores the theme of alienation in the post-war England of 1950s. Jimmy Porter, the angry protagonist, is his author's mouthpiece in the play. He is a young university graduate who suffers from a deep sense of alienation from his society where he finds no more causes to live with, no meaningful role to play.

Despite having received his degree from a "white-tile" university, Jimmy has failed to obtain any suitable employment. He runs a sweet-stall, funded by the mother of his friend, Hugh, with his friend, Cliff, as his partner. Jimmy is a volatile youth full of the contradictions and dwindlings characteristic of his time.  He is terribly anguished to find that real power and opportunities lie monopolized with the Establishment.

Jimmy's alienation from  his wife Alison is essentially due to her lack of enthusiasm, her unwillingness to feel deeply, her submissive adherence to the run of the mill domestic obligations like cleaning and ironing clothes, and making tea. Jimmy cannot break through her "cool,"  cannot dislodge her "sitting on the fence'', cannot force her to a full commitment to her real emotions, to force her to feel and to have vital life.

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