Discuss the ending of the play Look Back in Anger. 

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jennifer-taubenheim | Middle School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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Basic summary of Act III. Jimmy and Cliff are sitting reading the Sunday paper while Helena is ironing. They talk about an article in the newspaper and goof off for a while. Cliff says that he is going to get his own place, give up the candy stall, and find a woman of his own. Helena tells Jimmy that she has always wanted him, and that she loves him. Then the door opens and Alison walks in. She does not look well and is quite thin. The two women stand looking at one another while Jimmy leaves and begins to play his trumpet across the hall.

Alison tells Helena that she has had a miscarriage. She says that she is not even sure why she came, and that she does not want to cause problems between Helena and Jimmy. Helena tells Alison that it is over with Jimmy, that she knows that she has not been doing the right thing and that she can’t live with that. Helena calls Jimmy in and tells him that she is going to leave, and then she does. Alison tells Jimmy that she will go too. Then he berates her for not sending flowers to the funeral. Then he lightens up and talks about the old bear going through the forest of life all alone. He reminisces about the first time they met. He says, “I may be a lost cause, but I thought if you loved me, it needn’t matter,” which makes Alison cry. She tells him that she has found strength in the humility of not being able to protect her unborn baby. She is feeling low, and he comforts her.