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Volume 2 Issue 12

July 2015

Polarizing Past and Present: A Critical Discourse of Osborne’s Look Back in Anger
Mr. Pintu Karak, 
Post Graduate Student, 
Department of English, 
The University of Burdwan, 
Burdwan, West Bengal, India
John Osborne’s epoch-making play Look Back in Anger gives vent to the vitriolic anger of the protagonist Jimmy Porter — ‘The Angry Young Man’ — who is supposed to be the spokesman of the dramatist. The essence and the quintessence of this apparently cantankerous play lies in the title that magnificently encapsulates the exasperation of a frustrated youth and at the same time contradicts the past and the present, the hope and the hopelessness, glory and disillusion. A deeper analysis of this arresting play reveals that Jimmy’s anger has a reason and a result, an origin and an end. If the cause of this anger is the bleakness of the present set up, the consequence is obviously the past. Whereas the first part of the title stresses the protagonist’s harking back to the past through the avenue of his memory, the second part delineates his discontentment with the society. Jimmy’s present is besmeared with muddy events and therefore he cannot but moan and bewail. The main objective of this study is to buttress the post-war anti-hero’s present dissatisfaction which is deeply rooted in the past and to mirror the disjunction between the past and the present.
Past; Present; Post-War Disenchantment; Anger; Memory.
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Progressive Publishers is a novice publishing enterprise located at Tranquebar, Tamilnadu, India. It primarily publishes university text-books for efficient English language learning and an online scholarly journal entitled Literary Quest. Its primary goal is to promote progressive, secular, socialist and egalitarian thoughts among academicians, researchers and students of English literature. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Social Justice are the ideals upon which the whole enterprise rests.