Discuss the play Look Back in Anger in the light of the image of the angry young man.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Look Back in Anger, Jimmy porter is the image of the "angry young man.' This image has its foundation in the social and political upheavals in England following the end of World War II. In short, England was demanding equality between the classes and an end to the class system that reserved opportunity for the upper classes. England's imperial holdings were shrinking as colonial countries were demanding and gaining their independence.

In the light of these two flames, the working and lower class people of England, particularly the young men, were enraged over the ironic injustice that even though African and Indian and other colonial holdings were gaining independence, they were still smothered under class rule and governance there at home on English soil. John Osborne gives voice to this angry young man through his characterization of Jimmy Porter as having lost his father to the ideal of equality and democracy, as college educated, as the owner of a candy shop, as enraged against the unfeeling souls of upper class people, especially religious people, and especially his own religious upper class wife Alison.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial