Alienation from society is a major theme. The main character, Jimmy Porter, was shut out of a meaningful position, even though he went to an excellent university. He was not born into "the establishment", from a family with connections. Jimmy feels alienated from Alison because she cannot feel deeply and honestly as he can. He refers to her as "Lady Pusillanimous"
Jimmy is deeply angry. He chooses to express his anger specifically at: people he loves because they do not feel passionately. He also is very angry at society because he was promised equality but, in fact, has so few opportunities. He is angry at those who are smug and satisfied in their positions of power and privelege in society. He is angry because he is so helpless. His helplessness runs deep within him, since he was 10 years old when he watched his father die from fighting toward democracy in the Spanish Civil War.