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eBook Look Back in Anger download

by John Osborne

eBook Look Back in Anger download ISBN: 0571061842
Author: John Osborne
Publisher: Faber & Faber; 3d edition (1957)
Language: English
Pages: 96
ePub: 1565 kb
Fb2: 1675 kb
Rating: 4.2
Other formats: doc azw docx lit
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Dramas and Plays

Look Back in Anger (1956) is a realist play written by John Osborne.

Look Back in Anger (1956) is a realist play written by John Osborne. It focuses on the life and marital struggles of an intelligent and educated but disaffected young man of working-class origin, Jimmy Porter, and his equally competent yet impassive upper-middle-class wife Alison. The supporting characters include Cliff Lewis, an amiable Welsh lodger who attempts to keep the peace; and Helena Charles, Alison's snobbish friend.

John Osborne's classic play was singled out as the 'best young play of its decade' by critic Kenneth Tynan went on to claim its place as a major turning point in British Theatre. Its central character, Jimmy Porter, first burst across the stage in May 1956, both shocking and charming his audiences - the original incarnation of the angry young man. The play is set in the Midlands, in the mid 1950s, and charts the cruel but passionate relationship between Jimmy and his young wife Alison, as the pair struggle for survival in a destructive relationship.

In front of these is a dark oak dressing table. Most of the furniture is simple, and rather old. Up R. is a double bed, running the length of most of the back wall, the rest of which is taken up with a shelf of books

In front of these is a dark oak dressing table. is a double bed, running the length of most of the back wall, the rest of which is taken up with a shelf of books. Down R. below the bed is a heavy chest of drawers, covered with books, neckties and odds and ends, including a large, tattered toy teddy bear and soft, woolly squirrel. Below this a small wardrobe.

Look Back in Anger was John Osborne's first successful play. Off the back of this he wrote The Entertainer; specially requested from him by Olivier, no less. Osborne's future look assured as a playwright whose stock could only rise. In 2012 it ran for 6 days 'Off Broadway'. For me (and apparently top theatre companies and venues around the globe); the anger hasn't lasted, and they're no longer entertaining. Perhaps a mirror for John Osborne himself. So, forgive the heresy, but Look Back in Anger, The Entertainer, and sadly Osborne himself seem tired, futile, and old. Yet he wrote around twenty-five other plays, plus screenplays, plus a two-volume autobiography.

The first production of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger in 1956 provoked a major controversy. There were those, like the Observer newspaper's influential critic Kenneth Tynan, who saw it as the first totally original play of a new generation

The first production of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger in 1956 provoked a major controversy. There were those, like the Observer newspaper's influential critic Kenneth Tynan, who saw it as the first totally original play of a new generation. There were others who hated both it and the world that Osborne was showing them. But even these critics acknowledged that the play, written in just one month, marked a new voice on the British stage.

Look Back in Anger study guide contains a biography of John Osborne, literature essays, quiz questions, major . These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Look Back in Anger by John Osborne

Look Back in Anger study guide contains a biography of John Osborne, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Look Back in Anger by John Osborne. Social Criticism in A Doll's House and Look Back in Anger. The Symbolism in Look Back in Anger.

In 1956 John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger forcefully signaled the start of a very different dramatic tradition. Taking as its hero a furiously voluble working-class man and replacing staid mannerliness on stage with emotional rawness, sexual candour, and social rancour, Look Back in Anger initiated a move towar. ohn Osborne. playwright and film producer whose Look Back in Anger (performed 1956) ushered in a new movement in British drama and made him known as the first of the Angry Young Me. Tony Richardson.

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John Osborne began writing what was to become his most famous play on 4 May 1955. The end of his first marriage was the catalyst for writing Look Back in Anger, as can be seen in this notebook which contains Osborne’s early draft material.

John Osborne began writing what was to become his most famous play on 4 May 1955. The first part of the notebook is autobiographical and concerns Osborne’s feelings of betrayal following his wife’s affair. This text was later crafted into dialogue for Osborne’s protagonist, Jimmy Porter. Osborne then made notes on the play’s main characters before beginning the first draft of the script in the same notebook

Look Back in Anger
Comments: (7)
I find a lot of the other British novels and stories from the "Angry Young Men" movement not very engaging, but this play has incredible energy. I enjoyed it very much. I'm not usually drawn into plays but was totally into *Look Back in Anger* from the first scene. This might be partly because of the wonderful prose-y stage directions that do a lot with the characters, but I think it's more about the dialogue. Osborne manages to make most of these characters both extensively, ironically self-reflective and mostly not tedious, which I find really impressive. Every scene brims with (surprise) anger, depression, and the crisis of masculinity in Post-War Britain.
I have read Look Back in Anger at least 5 times in my life and each time I enjoy it as much as I did the first time. The plays depiction of youth in a pre-war era is right on point and is as true today and when John Osborne first penned this work.
I purchased this book for a class. Look Back in Anger is a good play. The seller mailed an old hardback from a library. I like the latter, because it is easy to carry around in medium size purse. Also, the shipping time was reasonable.
Needed it for school.
The seller advertised this book's condition as "NEW," but when I received the book, it was marked and highlighted. The inside was filled with notes and different color highlight marks. I don't like reading books that have all kinds of markings already inside. For this reason I am dissapointed in this seller for advertising the book as being in "NEW" condition when in reality it was very much used and abused.
Sometimes it's useful to be reminded that our world is a place that more often than not doesn't make much sense. It's all too frequently a setting for the display of intimidating and triumphal cruelty that takes verbal forms we may not have anticipated but that we immediately recognize when we hear them. Some among us seem to be virtuosos when it comes to cynically devising and inflicting pain, most often on those we care for and who happen to be close by.

Jimmy, the demonstrably vicious protagonist of John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger is just such an unrestrained linguistic thug. He inflicts the harshest indictments, the most injurious epithets, and the most painfully timed indifference on everyone he knows, and he does so for reasons that are never clear. In fact, he needs no immediate reason, wants no immediate reason, and offers no immediate reason.

Jimmy is the sort of unsolicited adversary who is at his best, his most inspired, his most whole, and his most creative when he's angriest. I've known people like Jimmy. Their anger may be signaled by a vaguely demonic smirk, nothing too obvious, but definitely there and bespeaking enjoyment. Though their rage is without discernible prompting or purpose, it fills them with self-righteousness that provides a kind of unspoken rationale. The fact that it's actually irrational doesn't in the least diminish their certitude. The intensity of their anger is too keen and all-consuming not to be justified, and not to justify inflicting derision, shame, humiliation, and undeserved suffering on others.

Though they have no immediate concrete excuses, the brutes I've known have long since put forth a false, flimsy, and far-fetched but insidiously plausible patch work of contextual explanations for any and all abusive excesses. Jimmy is sure that he's as smart and well educated as anyone, and he may be, but he attended a lesser university in the British academic status hierarchy, and he lives and makes a living as a member of the working class. He sees himself as a victim of the pernicious and pervasive class structure that organizes once proudly imperial Great Britain, and he takes pains to present himself as a rude, boisterous, ill-mannered lout, making the case that his oppressors and their hierarchical system are right. Ironically, however, he makes the case so well that its rectitude is suspect. Surely he's putting us on with his overblown caricature of a demonically worthless member of the lumpen proletariat.

In spite of his thoroughly objectionable behavior and mean-spirited character, however, Jimmy enjoys the undying love of his attractive, well-bred, middle class wife Alison. She married Jimmy over her parents' intensely bitter objections, and as his wife we see her standing at the ironing board, making tea, doing laundry, and absorbing punishment but not much else. What is there in this chronically contentious and demeaning relationship for her? We are given little or nothing to use in making even the most weakly informed guess. If I hadn't seen relationships such as this for myself, my parents were a case in point, I'd conclude that the marriage of Jimmy and Allison was too destructive and devoid of everyday comforts to be anything more than an unconvincing literary contrivance.

Jimmy and Alison live with Cliff, a man about Jimmy's age, in his middle twenties, and one of Jimmy's few friends. Though Cliff is relaxed and easy going, Jimmy snipes and jabs at him relentlessly. Cliff does what he must to retain his sanity, but one imagines that he stays with the couple out concern for Alison, and in spite of Jimmy's barbs and taunts. Oddly, Cliff and Allison are openly demonstrative in their affection for each other, hugging and occasionally kissing. Jimmy, contrary to expectations of one as prickly and easily offended as he has shown himself to be, makes nothing of it. Perhaps he thinks it can be based on nothing but friendship. After all, women don't leave men like Jimmy. He's no doubt convinced that along with his boorishness comes an irresistible animal magnetism peculiar to brutishly offensive males. Or something like that.

About half way through, a fourth character enters the play. Rather than going into details and telling the whole story, suffice it so say that Jimmy treats her even worse than he treats his wife. Again, we see the inexplicably senseless and often cruel and painful nature of the lives we sometimes live.

If there is an alternative or complementary theme in this, say class antagonism and its costs to the socially disadvantaged, it's not sufficiently well developed to be more than ancillary. But what we see and hear is thematically strong enough to make the play worthwhile. It's all too easy to lose sight of the fact that our damaging irrationality often assures that the most objectionable among us get the most love, devotion, and other micro-social payoffs. We do what we do, too often meaning victory for sharks and other predators in our vicinity.
"Look Back in Anger", first performed at London's Royal Court Theatre in 1956, is often cited as marking a theatrical revolution. The British theatre of the early fifties, dominated by playwrights like Noel Coward and Terence Rattigan, was widely regarded as genteel, well-mannered and middle-class. John Osborne's play can be seen as a deliberate reaction against those values. Its plot is conventional enough. It centres around the stormy marriage of a young couple, Jimmy and Alison Porter, who separate after a series of quarrels. Unknown to Jimmy, Alison is pregnant at the time, and he starts a relationship with her best friend Helena, an actress. Six months later Alison, having lost her baby, returns, and Helena ends her affair with Jimmy so as to allow the couple to be reunited.

What was shocking about the play was its social setting and the attitudes displayed by the characters, especially Jimmy. He is from a working-class family and, although he has a university degree, has turned his back on the sort of well-paid white-collar job that such an educational background would normally have led to in the fifties, working as a trader in the local market, running a sweet stall with his friend Cliff. He and Alison, with Cliff as a lodger, live in a dingy bed-sit in a large Midlands town. Alison herself is from the wealthy upper middle classes (her father is a retired Indian Army officer) and her family resent her marriage to Jimmy.

It was in the late fifties that the term "Angry Young Man" was coined by the critics to describe not only writers such as Osborne, Kingsley Amis and John Braine, but also their characters such as Jimmy Porter and Amis's Lucky Jim, who were seen as the mouthpieces of their creators. Jimmy is, to borrow the title of a famous film of the period, a rebel without a cause.

In another Osborne play from around the same period, "An Epitaph for George Dillon", the hero, himself a playwright, is advised by his agent to cut out the long speeches from his latest play, which are seen as being "too Bernard Shaw". This is not advice which Osborne took himself, although the passionate, emotional "Look Back in Anger" is very different in style to Shaw's plays, which at times can read like extracts from the proceedings of a debating society. Jimmy gives vent to his feelings in a series of long, angry speeches. (As Osborne himself was to point out, there is something formal about these speeches, which he likened to operatic recitative).

In these speeches, Jimmy attacks the state of British society, and often takes the opportunity to have a go at Alison and her family (especially her mother) whom he sees as part of the traditional British ruling class. He is instinctively suspicious of any form of authority and of the establishment. He is hostile to religion and to the growing "never had it so good" conservatism of fifties Britain. He does not, however, himself really subscribe to any alternative system of values such as Communism or Socialism. A frequent theme of his complaints is that there are no longer any good causes to fight for; he envies his parents' generation who could fight the anti-fascist battles of the thirties and forties. (His father was a veteran of the Spanish Civil War).

Jimmy's relationship with Alison is a complex one, perhaps best expressed by the cliché that they can neither live with one another nor without one another. On the one hand, the differences in their personalities and their social backgrounds is the cause of constant friction between them. On the other, they have a deep emotional need for one another, shown by their game of "bears and squirrels". To an outsider such as Helena this is mere sentimental whimsy; to them, it is a way of expressing their mutual love.

One reviewer complains that Osborne had a "tin ear" for dialogue and quotes some of Helena's lines in support of this complaint. The problem lies not with the playwright's "tin ear" but rather with the fact that some people have tin voices. There are plenty of people in Britain, especially from Helena's upper-middle-class stratum of society who speak in precisely that stilted, formal tone of voice as a substitute for feeling. In the fifties there were probably even more.

Although it had enthusiastic supporters such as the critics Kenneth Tynan and Harold Hobson, "Look Back" was highly controversial when it was first produced, being too shocking for many critics and theatregoers in the fifties. Today it has largely lost its power to shock, kitchen-sink realism, bad language and anti-establishment opinions having become commonplace in the theatre over the last fifty years. Nevertheless, when well produced its emotional power and sincerity mean that it can still be an impressively memorable experience in the theatre.