Alienation and Loneliness
Jimmy Porter spoke for a large segment of the British population in 1956 when he ranted about his alienation from a society in which he was denied any meaningful role. Although he was educated at a "white-tile" university, a reference to the newest and least prestigious universities in the United Kingdom, the real power and opportunities were reserved for the children of the Establishment, those born to privilege, family connections, and entree to the "right" schools. Part of the "code" of the Establishment was the "stiff upper lip," that reticence to show or even to feel strong emotions. Jimmy's alienation from Alison comes precisely because he cannot break through her "cool," her unwillingness to feel deeply even during sexual intercourse with her husband. He berates her in a coarse attempt to get her to strike out at him, to stop "sitting on the fence'' and make a full commitment to her real emotions; he wants to force her to feel and to have vital life. He calls her "Lady Pusillanimous" because he sees her as too cowardly to commit to anything Jimmy is anxious to give a great deal and is deeply angry because no one seems interested enough to take from him, including his wife. He says, "My heart is so full, I feel ill—and she wants peace!"
Anger and Hatred
Jimmy Porter operates out of a deep well of anger. His anger is directed at those he loves because they refuse to have strong feelings, at a...
(The entire section is 925 words.)
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