Look Back in Anger is a British play written by the author John Osborne. The play is about a husband and wife; Jimmy and Alison Porter. The play is almost a replica of the relationship Osborne had with his first wife Pamela Lane.
The question that was asked of the students was: Osborne was known as “The Angry Man” How was that perception a direct result of the ideals and attitudes demonstrated in this work? Many authors who write about personal experiences in their works end up becoming successful in the literature world.In Osborne’s case, his failed marriage with Pamela Lane became a basis for his most successful work Look Back in Anger. The marriage that John Osborne had with Pamela Lane was not a healthy marriage. From the beginning of the play, the reader sees that Jimmy Porter is not very fond of his wife, Alison. As Jimmy and his friend Cliff are reading the morning papers and discussing the question if the Sunday Papers make them feel ignorant or not, the question is relayed to Alison.
Alison replies “Oh – I haven’t read them yet. ” Jimmy snaps back with “I didn’t ask you that. I said – ”.Cliff, quick to defend Alison as she is ironing says to Jimmy “Leave the poor girlie alone. She’s busy. ” After Cliff and Jimmy continue arguing about being educated, Jimmy knocks Cliff’s paper out of his hand and Alison shouts to Jimmy “ Oh, give it to him, Jimmy, for heaven’s sake! I can’t think! ” Jimmy wittedly responds “Cant think? She hasn’t had a thought for years! Have You? ” Alison responds “No.
” It is easy to see the anger that Jimmy possesses towards his wife much like Osborne. This argument between Jimmy and Alison could reflect a reason of why Osborne’s marriage with Lane failed.As the play progressed, Alison became pregnant and was not sure what was ahead of her, so she looked to her friend Helena for guidance on how she should approach the subject with Jimmy knowing that he would not be very happy about this news. It is suggested by Helena that Alison go home to her parents and sends a telegram to Alison’s parents to come and take her back home for a while. Jimmy gets a phone call that the mother of his friend Hugh (who is abroad and cannot care for her) has had a stroke and is not expected to live much longer.Jimmy must go to London to care for her.
Jimmy says to Alison “I… need you… to come with me. ” Alison does not respond but goes to church with Helena. Scene two of Act two begins with Alison’s father Colonel Redfern, in the apartment about to leave for their home. As Alison is leaving she hands Cliff an envelope for Jimmy with a letter in it for him.
Cliff leaves in fear of Jimmy’s response to the letter and leaves the letter for Helena to give to Jimmy saying “You give it to him! He’s all yours. And I hope he rams it up your nostrils! Jimmy then storms through the door and complains that he was almost ran over by Colonel Redfern when Helena hands him the envelope from Alison.She states that she needs peace and is “willing to sacrifice everything just for that. ” She continues that she is not sure when she will comes back but she asks that he be patient with her and that she will always love him.
Jimmy is infuriated and suggests that she rather had said that she hates him and that he is a “rotten bastard”. Helena then asks him to stop thinking about only himself and tells him about the baby.Jimmy responds by saying “All right – yes. I am surprised. But, tell me.
Did you honestly expect me to go soggy at the knees and collapse with remorse! ” he continues saying “Ill tell you something: I don’t care. ” Soon later in Act III Jimmy falls in love with Helena. This goes to show Jimmy’s lack of interest for his wife or her well-being. This could also relate to Osborne’s lack of interest for Lane and his eventual divorce from her because of his adultery. In conclusion, there are many examples in addition to the two stated above as to why Osborne is considered ‘the angry man”.
As mentioned before, Jimmy could represent the life of Osborne, who had many different relationship issues such as adultery problems, one wives’ alcoholism and another’s suicide leading him to eventually have five wives. The incidents throughout the play could indicate possible factors that aided to Osborne’s failed marriages and as to why he is an angry man. Osborne’s problems had a huge affect on his literature and even though his relationships weren’t successful, Look Back in Anger was.