Jimmy Porter is his author's mouthpiece in the play, a young university graduate whose anger is a characteristic response to his world around. Jimmy suffers from a deep sense of alienation from his society where he finds no more causes to live with, no maningful role to play. His university degree has just landed him up with the sweet-stall that he runs with his friend, Cliff. Real power and all opportunities are reserved for the upper classes or the Establishment. His wife Alison, the daughter of a retired Colonel and the sister of a Sandhurst alumnus-turned- Member of Parliament, is cool and unenthusiastic, aloof and engaged in cleaning, ironing, making tea. Jimmy is angry with her for he fails to break through her unwillingness to feel deeply even during sexual intercourse with her husband. Alison keeps "sitting on the fence'' unwilling to make a full commitment to her real emotions.
Jimmy is angry towards those he loves, for example,Alison and his parntner-cum-friend Cliff, because they refuse to have strong feelings, and with those who smugly assume their places in the power structure without caring for others. He lashes out in anger because of his helplessness, his hopelessness that "nothing has changed". When he was a ten year old boy he saw his father dying from wounds received while fighting for democracy in the Spanish Civil War. We hear Jimmy say, "You see, I learnt at an early age what it was to be angry—angry and helpless. And I can never forget it.''Jimmy pours out his strong invectives and abuses against Alison's mother who most crudely opposed her daughter's marriage to Jimmy. He abusively refers to Alison's brother Nigel. Jimmy also attacks institutions like the Church and the Press; shows class hatred to Alison's actress friend Helena. His anger is profuse and multi-directional, born of a serious identity crisis, a pathological/sexual anguish, a sense of being betrayed and subdued by the society.