Osborne as a Committed Artist in Look Back in Anger

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Artist’s Commitment

      Every serious artist has some commitments, but anybody who claims commitment is not an artist. For example T. S. Eliot, W. B. Yeats, Sartre, Camus in France were committed to the political imperatives of their age. Similarly, Osborne as committed artist to his age and highlighted, the political and social upheavals of his age through his plays.

Osborne’s Commitment

      According to a critic, John Mander Osborne is an opponent of apartheid, the H-bomb, the British class system. Through Jimmy, he denounces all these in Look Back in Anger showing his commitment to the society.

      The Theme of Look Back in Anger: According to John Mander it is Jimmy’s anger that motivates the action in the play and gives it motion. Jimmy has been called a frustrated artist, a repressed homosexual, a sado-masochist, a self pitying egotist, an idealist without a cause. Jimmy eludes all these descriptions.


      In spite of the severe criticism, Osborne’s portrayal of Jimmy is completely faithful to contemporary social reality.

      According to John Mander the play ultimately fails as a drama because it fails to say anything significant about society or about human psychology.

University Questions

“Osborne’s attitude towards the demolition squad. He does not appear to have a blue print of the alternative”. Justify the statement.
What is “committed” art? Can this phrase be applied to Osborne’s work? Give a reasoned answer.
Consider Osborne as a committed artist with reference to Look Back in Anger,
What is Osborne’s commitment in Look Back in Anger? Give a reasoned answer.

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