Essay Example on I discovered the phrase Angry Young Men of Britain









ACADEMIC SAMPLE  I discovered the phrase Angry Young Men of Britain while reading articles on A Clockwork Orange I found it very interesting how a label and movement of sorts began in Britain with hardly any willing participants and most wishing to rid of the label The Angry Young Men of Britain In 1956 British playwright John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger was enacted for the first time in London's Royal Court Theatre The play s effect was such that it gave birth to a new literary movement in Britain This paper will look into how the play Look Back in Anger revolutionized and restructured societal norms in Britain albeit for a short period of time and gave way to new cultural movement WHO IS AN ANGRY YOUNG MAN The Angry Young Man label came about as a casual comment by the Royal Court theatre s press officer He didn t like Osborne's play and remarked I suppose you re really an angry young man He said the same to some journalists who were covering the play's opening and a new cultural phrase was coined British theatre critic Aleks Sierz says newspaper journalists were using the Angry Young Man label to describe any artist who was critical of the ways of the British society and the Government The play Look Back in Anger is about a young man named Jimmy Porter Jimmy is University educated and finds himself in a menial job stuck in the rut of the life of a lower middle class man He is dissatisfied with society scoffs at the highbrow way of living mocks his wife s well off family is insensitive to her feelings and is self consumed in his anger over not being able to climb up the social ladder 

He thinks he can do much better after all he has a good education But the fact that it is not enough for him to climb up the social structure frustrates him The main theme of the play was the emerging class of middle class workers who despite having a good education found themselves unable to achieve professional success The play essentially talks about social alienation the frustrations that come with living on a low income This despite having the qualifications which in a fair world would have led to a good well paying job One of the other most popular authors of the Angry Young Men was Kingsley Amis whose work Lucky Jim was one of the first angry works to be published But he was only considered as part of the movement after the success of Look Back in Anger In Lucky Jim the protagonist Jim is constantly mocking people around him involving himself in shenanigans yet it is clear he desperately wants to fit into society which he seems to despise He is at his mocking best when interacting with the Welch family members who are the most influential group of people in the novel He despises them so much that in almost every conversation with Professor Welch Jim starts daydreaming about beating him to death It wasn t just men who were part of the Angry Young Men cult Shelagh Delaney was also a prominent figure during the Angry Young Man s height of popularity Her debut work A Taste of Honey 1958 was set in her hometown of Salford and honestly dealt with class sexual orientation mixed race relationships and single mothers Arnold Wesker was also a prominent figure of the Angry Young Men scene A a prolific playwright Wesker s most well known Angry Young Men play is The Kitchen 1957 Angry Young Men s Popularity It is important to understand what Britain society was going through during the 50s The two great wars were over it was the television age and the youth lacked any real political purpose the way their fathers had been living 

This coupled with the state of economy led to a frustration that ran deep among the masses and was the same theme which was reflected in the works of most of these authors The term Angry Young Men was now a term the masses of the time identified themselves with This was a new group of people who lacked a purpose in life A new following of these authors and this form of theatre developed especially among the youth who strived for a purpose to aim their anger at Common Themes The protagonist is usually a University level educated male yet stuck in a menial job Another significant feature that Angry Young Man works share is that they tend to discuss prevalent social stagnation and its consequences but don't offer any solutions Their anger is at a personal level of them wanting to be a larger part of the society Book Critic Nona Balakian says the protagonist s isolation was one of the most prominent themes in all the novels Angry Unwilling The most interesting aspect of the Angry Young Man is that none of the authors were a conscious part of it They felt they had nothing in common with the other authors who were grouped under the movement Kingsley Amis for instance believed the movement became popular as people needed different kind of literature and he didn't believe this was some sort of a minor revolution in English writing Most of the Angry Young Men authors did not even get along with each other and disliked being grouped together Author Malcolm Bradbury says that a lot of the authors were not angry many were not young and a lot of them were women

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