The Title of The Play Look Back in Anger

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A Realistic Subject Matter

      The Title of the drama Look Back In Anger received an overwhelming response from the audience when it was first produced. It appealed to the audience because of the realistic subject matter. Through the character of the protagonist, Osborne revealed his feeling for the contemporary scene and the frustration and the temperament of the post war Britain found expression through the speeches of Jimmy. The use of contemporary idiom the sharp comments on matters ranging from “posh” Sunday newspaper and “whiletile” universities to the bishop and the hydrogen bomb.

An “unpleasant” Social Play

      Unlike other realistic playwright like G.B. Shaw, Osborne had not dramatized social questions to arouse social conscience. His play does not have any didactic element, rather it presents the social problems apprehended by the characters. The stinking rhetorical speeches goes beyond realistic prose drama. Many of his impressive tirades are concerned with the debased values of modern life but the action of the play is very little influenced by such social questions as class system. Alison describes Jimmy’s invasion of her upper class world as a part of the class war he was waging with Alison as a hostage.

Jimmy’s Anger

      Jimmy’s anger seems to be deep rooted. For him “the misery of the world are misery and will not then rest”. He suffers for others and likes other people’s lives. As a young boy he watched his dying father and learned more about love-death and betrayal than people like Helena would know all their lives. He recalls the experience with bitterness and says that every time he had sat near his father’s bed and listen to his father’s talk he had to fight back his tears. He says he had become a “veteran after his experience of remaining by his father’s bed side for twelve months. He also suffers for Mrs. Tanner, Augh’s mother who according to him went “through the sordid process of dying.”

Incompatibility between Jimmy and His Wife

      Social disparity between his working class origin and the upper middle class to which his wife belongs is also a reason for Jimmy’s anger. He wages an unending battle against the upper middle class whom he holds in contempt and treats Alison as a “hostage”. He constantly bullies his wife and provokes her to retaliate Alison’s silence, her withdrawal into detached indifference makes communication between him and herself impossible. “That girl there can twist your arm off with her silence,” he comments on her infuriated by her silent disposition.

Jimmy’s Deep Seated Need of Allegiance

      Jimmy is over demanding in his relationship. He seeks from women much more than he could ever hope to get. When disappointed he turns his wrath on them with savage resentment. He expects everyone to be loyal not only to him but to all the things he believes in, not only to his present and future but to his past as well. Alison’s failure to live up to his expectation irritates him.

Sexual Passion No Remedy for Jimmy’s Trouble

      Sexual passion occasionally helps Jimmy to overcome his frustration, and assists him to escape his troubling mind now and then. But it does not provide a permanent solution to his problems. In the first act the ever critically Jimmy takes a brief break and is shown to share a tender moment of togetherness with his wife. But immediately after some time on learning about Helena’s impending visit he returns to his farmer self cursing and condemning people. He alternates between sexual teaming and sexual passion. In the Act III & Sc II he asks contemptuously why women bled men to death. He says that men have no alternative but to it themselves be butchered as there is no brave cause to die for.

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