EssaysForStudent.com - Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes
Search

Osborne's Use of Language Is "look Back in Anger" / Language as a Protagonist in "look Back in Anger"

By:   •  Essay  •  1,063 Words  •  November 20, 2009  •  1,578 Views

Page 1 of 5

Essay title: Osborne's Use of Language Is "look Back in Anger" / Language as a Protagonist in "look Back in Anger"

Osborne’s use of Language is �Look Back in Anger’ / Language as a protagonist in �Look Back in Anger’

The basis of any great dramatic play lies in its devilment of plot or of characters, but in Look Back in Anger, the chief characteristic seems its reliance on action which is based on the use of language in the play. Undoubtedly, the action of the play is mainly psychological and involves necessary use of language. The characters have fluctuating thoughts, hidden emotions and relational bindings which find expression through word, stance or even gestures. In this regard, it has been the opinion of a lot of critics that language itself plays the role of a protagonist in the play. This is evident from the fact that though the characters express themselves through language, language on its part puts across its themes and actions. And most importantly, the only way of knowing characters in the play is through the language as they are embodied through it.

According to G.L. Evans, to develop language as a protagonist in the play, Osborne takes recourse to two main elements, melodrama and removal of any type of objectivity. Thus many times in the play, the language used is melodramatic and is used, even though crudely, to appeal to the emotions of both the characters and the spectators. As an example one may refer to Alison’s speech towards the end of Act II Scene ii where she starts shouting: “I’m in the fire and I’m burning, and all I want is to die! . . .. . . . .this is what he wanted from me! . . . …….I’m in the mud at last! I’m groveling! I’m crawling! Oh God…..” Such a use of language automatically seems very exaggerated and melodramatic but at the same time it does show the power of language and how it can undermine Alison and be the protagonist itself. Secondly, language seems to lose its credibility in the removal of any type of objectivity. For language cannot be fully trusted as it is always governed by emotions and sentimentality of the characters. Thus when Jimmy describes his father’s death one may see that the description shifts from his father to Jimmy himself and he seems the sufferer. Here again, language is used by Osborne to sentimentalize and generate pity for Jimmy.

In Look Back in Anger there is also a difference between the speech of the characters and the speech of the dramatist. For there can be moments when the dramatist is himself speaking as in the case of stage directions but in the play, but in the play, Osborne goes a level further and intermingles his voice with that of the characters. Thus in many cases, at first sight, the views expressed by the characters would seem their own but after a little thought can be attributed to the dramatist also. In this way, one may realize that the nicknames for homosexuals can be attributed very much to Osborne as it can be to Jimmy.

The language of Look Back in Anger is full of invectives, the majority of which can be attributed to Jimmy. Thus one can find him attacking, through the use of abuses and strong invectives, a variety of people. His anger is directed from time to time against the upper and middle classes, Americans, clerics, politicians, academics, homosexuals, women among other things. Strangely, the use of language is such that the focus of attention falls more on the invective than on the object of attack. His attacks are virulent and violent and are meant to maim the listener and object. Thus he feels that women are like “some dirty old Arab, sticking his fingers into some mess”. Then when he wants to hurt Alison, he comments on the dying scene of her mother: “She

Continue for 4 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay Osborne's Use of Language Is "look Back in Anger" / Language as a Protagonist in "look Back in Anger" and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)
txt
pdf
Citation Generator

(2009, 11). Osborne's Use of Language Is "look Back in Anger" / Language as a Protagonist in "look Back in Anger". EssaysForStudent.com. Retrieved 11, 2009, from https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Osborne's-Use-of-Language-Is-look-Back-in/10845.html

"Osborne's Use of Language Is "look Back in Anger" / Language as a Protagonist in "look Back in Anger"" EssaysForStudent.com. 11 2009. 2009. 11 2009 <https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Osborne's-Use-of-Language-Is-look-Back-in/10845.html>.

"Osborne's Use of Language Is "look Back in Anger" / Language as a Protagonist in "look Back in Anger"." EssaysForStudent.com. EssaysForStudent.com, 11 2009. Web. 11 2009. <https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Osborne's-Use-of-Language-Is-look-Back-in/10845.html>.

"Osborne's Use of Language Is "look Back in Anger" / Language as a Protagonist in "look Back in Anger"." EssaysForStudent.com. 11, 2009. Accessed 11, 2009. https://www.essaysforstudent.com/essays/Osborne's-Use-of-Language-Is-look-Back-in/10845.html.