Look Back in Anger


John Osborne

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Look Back in Anger Characters

Jimmy Porter

Jimmy is the “angry young man” of the play, usually found spouting tirades against the complacency of the British upper classes, and especially against his wife Alison and then his lover Helena. Born working… read analysis of Jimmy Porter

Alison Porter

A woman from an upper class background, and Jimmy’s wife. She is drawn to Jimmy’s energy, but also exhausted by their constant fighting. Jimmy accuses her of being too complacent and lacking “enthusiasm,” and… read analysis of Alison Porter

Cliff Lewis

A kind man of working class background, and a good friend and roommate to both Jimmy and Alison. He lives with the couple, and helps to keep them together. Cliff is “easy and relaxed… read analysis of Cliff Lewis

Helena Charles

Alison’s upper class friend, who comes to stay with the couple while acting in a play, and ends up having an affair with Jimmy after Alison leaves him. She is described as having a… read analysis of Helena Charles

Colonel Redfern

Alison’s father, a former colonel in the British army stationed in the English colony of India (back before 1947, when India still was a colony of England). He is “gentle” and “kindly,” but also… read analysis of Colonel Redfern
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Hugh Tanner

Jimmy’s friend, who took Alison and Jimmy into his apartment in the first months of their marriage. He was Jimmy’s partner when they went on “raids” against Alison’s upper class friends at fancy parties… read analysis of Hugh Tanner

Mrs. Tanner

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… read analysis of Mrs. Tanner
Minor Characters
The only one of Alison’s friends that Jimmy thinks has any value. Webster plays the banjo and is able to talk in Jimmy’s “dialect.” Jimmy believes that Webster is gay.
Jimmy’s first love, a woman ten years older than he is. He sees her as an example of the “enthusiasm” that Alison lacks.
Alison’s brother, a politician. Jimmy considers him “just about as vague as you can get without actually being invisible.” Alison wishes that she could have reached out to Nigel during the difficult first months of her marriage, because he would have been affectionate and loving to her.
Alison’s mother
Alison’s mother strongly disapproved of Jimmy and Alison’s marriage, and went to great lengths to prevent it. She did this out of a protective love for Alison. However, Colonel Redfern says that he thinks his wife went too far in her actions.
Miss Drury
The couple’s landlord. Alison is worried that she’ll evict them for being too rowdy, while Jimmy considers her a thief, reflecting his negative view of people with financial power.