Look Back in Anger Characters
by John Osborne
Jimmy PorterJimmy Porter is the play's main character. He is the "Angry Young Man" who expresses his frustration for the lack of feelings in his placid domestic life. Jimmy can be understood as both a hero for his unfiltered expressions of emotion and frustration in a culture that propagated unemotional resignation. He can also be considered a villain for the ways in which his anger proves to be destructive to those in his life.
Cliff LewisCliff is a friend to both Jimmy and Alison. Cliff lives with them in their attic apartment. He is a working class Welsh man and Jimmy makes sure to often point out that he is "common" and uneducated. Cliff believes this is the reason that Jimmy keeps him as a friend. He is quite fond of Alison and they have a strange physically affectionate relationship throughout the play.
Alison PorterAlison Porter is Jimmy's wife. She comes from Britain's upper class, but married into Jimmy's working class lifestyle. The audience learns in the first act that she is pregnant with Jimmy's child. Jimmy's destructive anger causes her great strain and she eventually leaves him. Her child miscarries and she comes back to Jimmy to show him that she has undergone great suffering.
Helena CharlesHelena Charles is Alison's best friend. She lives with them in their apartment while visiting for work. Helena is from an upper class family. She is responsible for getting Alison to leave Jimmy. She and Jimmy then begin an affair. Her sense of morality leads her to leave. She can be considered the play's moral compass.
Colonel RedfernColonel Redfern is Alison's father. He represents Britain's great Edwardian past. He was a military leader in India for many years before returning with his family to England. He is critical of Jimmy and Alison's relationship, but accepts that he is to blame for many of their problems because of his meddling in their affairs.
Look Back in Anger Essays and Related Content
- Look Back in Anger: Major Themes
- Look Back in Anger: Questions
- Look Back in Anger: Purchase the Novel and Related Material
- John Osborne: Biography
- Look Back in Anger Summary
- About Look Back in Anger
- Character List
- Glossary of Terms
- Major Themes
- Quotes and Analysis
- Summary and Analysis of Act I (pages 1 - 25)
- Summary and Analysis of Act I (pages 26 - 38)
- Summary and Analysis of Act II - Scene I (Pages 39 - 49)
- Summary and Analysis of Act II - Scene I (Pages 50 - 63)
- Summary and Analysis of Act II - Scene II
- Summary and Analysis of Act III - Scene I
- Summary and Analysis of Act III - Scene II
- The Kitchen Sink Drama: Perspectives and Criticism
- Related Links on Look Back in Anger
- Suggested Essay Questions
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 1
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 2
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 3
- Test Yourself! - Quiz 4
- Author of ClassicNote and Sources