Look Back In Anger By John Osborne



In this course material, we will delve into the riveting world of British drama through the lens of John Osborne's groundbreaking play "Look Back in Anger." This play, considered a classic of post-World War II British drama, explores themes of class struggle, love, alienation, and societal discontent. Through a meticulous analysis of the characters, language, and socio-political context, we aim to unravel the complexities and significance of Osborne's work.

Major Themes and Motifs:

One of the primary objectives of our study is to identify and dissect the major themes and motifs present in "Look Back in Anger." Osborne's play delves into themes such as the tension between different social classes, the disillusionment of the younger generation, the complexity of human relationships, and the search for personal identity in a rapidly changing world. Through close examination, we will uncover how these themes intertwine and contribute to the overall narrative of the play.

Character Analysis and Development:

Another crucial aspect we will explore is the in-depth analysis of the play's characters and their development throughout the narrative. Characters like Jimmy Porter, Alison, and Cliff play pivotal roles in reflecting the societal issues and personal struggles depicted in the play. By scrutinizing their interactions, motivations, and transformations, we aim to gain a nuanced understanding of how Osborne crafts complex and relatable characters.

Social and Political Context:

Understanding the impact of the social and political context is essential in interpreting "Look Back in Anger." Set against the backdrop of post-World War II Britain, the play captures the mood of a nation grappling with societal changes, political disillusionment, and a shifting cultural landscape. By contextualizing the play within its historical setting, we will explore how Osborne's commentary on the era enriches the themes and characters in the narrative.

Language and Style Critique:

One aspect that sets "Look Back in Anger" apart is John Osborne's distinctive language and style of writing. Through a critical evaluation of Osborne's use of language, dialogue, and dramatic techniques, we will uncover how these elements contribute to the emotional depth and intensity of the play. By examining his innovative approach to storytelling, we aim to appreciate the playwright's mastery of language as a tool for societal critique and emotional resonance.

Significance within Post-World War II British Drama:

Finally, we will explore the broader significance of "Look Back in Anger" within the realm of post-World War II British drama. As a play that challenged conventional theatrical norms and sparked debates on class, power dynamics, and cultural representation, Osborne's work left an indelible mark on the landscape of British theater. By situating the play within its historical and literary context, we aim to appreciate its enduring relevance and influence on subsequent generations of playwrights and audiences.


  1. Examine the impact of social and political context on the text
  2. Critically evaluate John Osborne's use of language and style in the play
  3. Understand the significance of "Look Back in Anger" within the realm of post-World War II British drama
  4. Analyze the characters and their development throughout the play
  5. Identify the major themes and motifs in "Look Back in Anger"

Lesson Note

Look Back in Anger is a groundbreaking play by John Osborne, first performed in 1956. It is often credited with ushering in a new era in British drama, known as the Angry Young Men movement. The play is a raw and emotional portrayal of post-war disillusionment among the younger generation. Through the character of Jimmy Porter, Osborne delves deeply into the frustrations and resentments that characterized the lives of many young Britons during the 1950s.

Lesson Evaluation

Congratulations on completing the lesson on Look Back In Anger By John Osborne. Now that youve explored the key concepts and ideas, its time to put your knowledge to the test. This section offers a variety of practice questions designed to reinforce your understanding and help you gauge your grasp of the material.

You will encounter a mix of question types, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, and essay questions. Each question is thoughtfully crafted to assess different aspects of your knowledge and critical thinking skills.

Use this evaluation section as an opportunity to reinforce your understanding of the topic and to identify any areas where you may need additional study. Don't be discouraged by any challenges you encounter; instead, view them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

  1. What is the setting of "Look Back in Anger"? A. 1950s England B. 19th century France C. 1960s America D. Victorian England Answer: A. 1950s England
  2. What are the major themes in "Look Back in Anger"? A. Love and Happiness B. Class and Social Change C. Wealth and Power D. Adventure and Discovery Answer: B. Class and Social Change
  3. Who is the protagonist in "Look Back in Anger"? A. Jimmy Porter B. Helena Charles C. Cliff Lewis D. Alison Porter Answer: A. Jimmy Porter
  4. What political event had a significant impact on the characters in "Look Back in Anger"? A. World War I B. World War II C. Cold War D. French Revolution Answer: B. World War II
  5. How does John Osborne's language style in the play "Look Back in Anger" contribute to the overall tone? A. Flowery and ornate B. Direct and colloquial C. Formal and structured D. Poetic and rhythmic Answer: B. Direct and colloquial
  6. Which character undergoes the most significant development throughout the play "Look Back in Anger"? A. Jimmy Porter B. Cliff Lewis C. Helena Charles D. Alison Porter Answer: D. Alison Porter
  7. What is the significance of the iron in Jimmy and Alison's relationship in "Look Back in Anger"? A. Symbol of separation B. Symbol of strength C. Symbol of unity D. Symbol of wealth Answer: A. Symbol of separation
  8. How does the social context of post-World War II Britain influence the characters' behaviors in the play? A. Fosters unity and cooperation B. Heightens class tensions and frustrations C. Promotes economic prosperity D. Encourages artistic expression Answer: B. Heightens class tensions and frustrations
  9. What is the role of music and jazz in "Look Back in Anger"? A. Creates a light-hearted atmosphere B. Represents rebellion and dissent C. Symbolizes wealth and status D. Encourages conformity Answer: B. Represents rebellion and dissent

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Past Questions

Wondering what past questions for this topic looks like? Here are a number of questions about Look Back In Anger By John Osborne from previous years

Question 1 Report

"You can call me a rebel, but I need a job. That's what matters to me." The repercussion of this statement by Aloho is a pointer to the theme ____

Question 1 Report

JOHN, OSBORNE: Look Back in Anger

Comment on Alison's reactions to Jimmy's attacks on her family.

Practice a number of Look Back In Anger By John Osborne past questions