Examine if the institution of marriage is attacked in Osborne's Look Back in Anger.

In Look Back in Anger, Osborne does not attack the institution of marriage. Instead, his portrayal of Jimmy and Alison’s marriage connects their numerous problems with personal factors and larger social issues. Although they temporarily separate, they reunite at the end. The resilience of their union suggests that marriage can provide a safe haven.

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John Osborne was married five times, and his first marriage ended in 1957, the year after Look Back in Anger was first staged. Alison Porter is clearly based on Osborne's wife, Pamela, and it would be rather surprising if, in his depiction of an unhappy marriage, Osborne had not drawn upon the unhappy marriage he was experiencing as he wrote.

To portray an unhappy marriage, however, is not necessarily to attack the institution of marriage. Osborne does not seem to have any positive suggestions for ways in which relations between men and women might be improved without marriage. In act 3, Jimmy's adulterous relationship with Helena takes exactly the same form as his marriage to Alison. The implication is that relationships naturally fall into this pattern whether the parties are married or not.

At the end of the play, Jimmy and Alison are reconciled, albeit uneasily, after Helena recognizes that the married woman has a superior claim. Look Back in Anger may be seen as an attack on all...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1025 words.)

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