Is Jimmy Porter an angry young man or just a gruesome whiner?Are his anger reasons valid?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is very tempting to treat Jimmy Porter as a whiner and a self-enabler, however, the truth is that the time in which the play develops, was one of post war void. All men who served in India during the War, like Alison's own father, came back just like any other soldier: To find themselves and encounter nobody.

Similarly, Jimmy's pathos is one of desolation and loneliness. He is also trying to find himself, and is in a place in which there is little to grow, challenge, or entice him.

Was he whiny? Yes, but he has enough reasons to be angry as he felt betrayed by the same government that sent him to serve, and now "nobody cares". The sad reality is that he could do nothing: All of England was in the same state, therefore, what else could he do but whine?

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Look Back in Anger

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