"Jimmy Porter's anger in Look Back in Anger interesects gender and class." Discuss.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Let us remember that this play is famous for its depiction of the iconic angry young man, a character which became a feature of such plays and works emerging from around this time. When we consider the character of Jimmy Porter, we have to concede that he is a man who is profoundly angry. At various points in the play, we see that his anger is directed at larger targets such as society for the way that it failed to provide an equitable world to live in, at those who occupy the heirarchy of society without caring for others, and finally at his nearest and dearest because they remain apathetic about these issues. This of course means that his anger does intersect both gender and class differences, as he is angry with everyone.

Let us remember that Jimmy is angry principally because of the terrible experience he has when he was ten and he watched his father dying slowly and painfully, "pouring out all that was left of his life to one bewildered little boy." Jimmy directly links his anger as an adult to this experience as a child: "You see, I learnt at an early age what it was to be angry—angry and helpless. And I can never forget it." We therefore see that Jimmy's anger emerges from his state of feeling helpless, and thus anybody--whether male or female, working class or upper class--is a suitable target for this anger.

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