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Anger is obviously present in Look Back in Anger. It is embellished in the title and it is presented through Osborne’s criticism of his society as seen in different attacks on class and religion. The plot of Look Back in Anger is a pretty common one. It tells a story of the marriage between two people from different classes in the society, the problems of such a union, the wife leaving the scene and returning eventually. Overall, it is a pretty straightforward dramatic, yet realistic plot.
However, although the plot is simple, the story conveys issues such as class, isolation, and post-war issues.
Class is one of the major issues attacked in the play. Alison’s father, his wife, Helena and all of Alison’s friends, and the Bishop of Bromley represent the enemies that must be attacked because they belong to the “privileged” class. To Jimmy, these people are “militant, arrogant, and full of malice or vague” (19). They are those with “money and no brains” and are insensitive to others (44).
Jimmy expresses his anger through the use of language which reminded me of biblical language. He uses the word “blood” throughout the play to describe his relationships. When I hear blood, I think of sacrifice and violence. Jimmy seems to feel as though he has sacrificed much of his life to a lifeless relationship with his wife. The use of the word blood symbolizes the non-physical, yet deep psychological violence between Jimmy and Allison. I’m debating whether or not to consider this play a comedy or not.
There were many scenes that I found funny; not the obvious humor, but the deep, dark, type of humor. I really enjoyed this play, mostly because it’s more contemporary than the other plays we’ve read.
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