The mother of Hugh Tanner, called “Hugh’s mum” by Jimmy, she helped set Jimmy up with his sweet stall. Jimmy loves her, and Alison thinks this is just because she is lower class and “ignorant.” In the middle of the play, Jimmy learns that Hugh’s mum has had a stroke, and Jimmy goes to visit her in the hospital. In one of his few expressions of true vulnerability, he asks Alison to come with him. She refuses, and leaves him shortly thereafter. Jimmy is offended that Alison seems to see Hugh’s mum only in terms of her class, and not as a person. He thinks that society in general ignores the humanity of working class people, and that Alison’s and other’s treatment of Hugh’s mum is a prime example.
Mrs. Tanner Character Timeline in Look Back in Anger
The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Tanner appears in Look Back in Anger. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 1
...because of Cliff’s kind temperament. It was different with Hugh Tanner, Jimmy’s childhood friend ( Hugh’s mum helped Jimmy start his sweet stall). The couple moved in with Hugh soon after Jimmy... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Act 3, Scene 2