The play, A Look Back in Anger, by John Osborne brings the notion of the "angry man gone mad" to the surface. But what does this play teach us? Or, does this play teach us anything? At the end of this paper it will be evident that this play does teach us something, and that is how some people, as individuals, have their own ways of thinking, and reacting, which are considerably different from the social norms. Of course the character we will be analyzing is Jimmy.
There are 3 stimuli that correspond to radical reactions by Jimmy. The first stimulus is love; Jimmy has ways of expressing his love to the women of his life that are different than the rest of society's. The second stimulus is the natural aggression towards threats, and most of these threats are small, that Jimmy expresses with Cliff, and also in Allison's mother, in particular. The final trigger to Jimmy's radical way of reacting is that of death. It seems to be an image that haunts him throughout the play and he only brings it to the surface after the halfway point. This, last, stimuli can be regarded as an explanation to his radical ways, that give him the image of the "angry man". However, there is one over-ruling thesis that covers all three stimuli that is the basis of Jimmy's radical behavior, and that is of women in general; Jimmy, as will be demonstrated in each section, is very insecure with the opposite sex, whether it is will girlfriends, wives, or landlords.
On the topic of love, Jimmy has demonstrated his difficulty to conform to the social norms, in terms of being a gentleman towards women, especially his own wife, Allison. The first major indication of this problem was when Allison and him were showing their first mutual signs of affection, but they were required to result to role playing to fulfill their show of love.
"Jimmy: You're very beautiful. A beautiful, great-eyed squirrel…How I envy you.
Allison: Well, you're a jolly super bear, ...