Look Back in Anger reflects the mood of anger in the post- war, younger generation.  Comment on particular reasons why this might be.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Osborne's work depicts how there is a frustration and anger within the younger generation because of the lack of fulfilled promises. With the ending of the war, there seemed to be a feeling in England that a new era in which social stratification was removed would be present.  The idea was that "an era of affluence was predicted, and a meritocracy that would supersede the reign of old school ties."  The construction of the "red brick universities" was a sign that a greater chance at economic prosperity and social advancement would be present for more people who had been closed out for so long.  Yet, this did not turn out to be the case as stratification and denial of opportunity and voice still presented itself.

It is in this reality of promises made and deferred that the post war younger generation felt anger and resentment.  Jimmy is an embodiment of this.  He believed what was told to him and the anger within him because of this denial has become the sum total of his being:  "You see, I learnt at an early age what it was to be angry—angry and helpless. And I can never forget it.''  For Jimmy and others of his generation, there was anger at those who could not deliver on assurances made and those who prevented these from being realized.  Jimmy embodies the anger that this generation felt and the resentment that filled much of their consciousness.

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