Look Back in Anger

Hugh Tanner Character Analysis

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, and Jimmy saw him as a co-conspirator in the class struggle. Then Hugh decided to leave for China to write a novel, and Jimmy felt betrayed. This reveals Jimmy’s deep traditional values (he was angry that Hugh abandoned his mother, Mrs. Tanner) and his sense of patriotism.
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Hugh Tanner Character Timeline in Look Back in Anger

The timeline below shows where the character Hugh Tanner appears in Look Back in Anger. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 1
Class and Education Theme Icon
Love and Innocence Theme Icon
...a “fluke.” They get along well 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... (full context)
Class and Education Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Alison says that she met Hugh on her wedding night and disliked him immediately. Jimmy was “pathetically anxious” that his friend... (full context)
Class and Education Theme Icon
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
...that her mother had taken stewardship of Alison’s wealth after the marriage. Instead, Jimmy and Hugh started using Alison’s connections to invite themselves to parties, hoping to find money or food.... (full context)
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Helena brings the conversation back to Hugh. Alison says that her relationship with him only got worse, and that Hugh and Jimmy... (full context)
Class and Education Theme Icon
Alison suspects that Hugh’s mum and Jimmy both blame her for the quarrel, and for Hugh’s leaving the country.... (full context)
Class and Education Theme Icon
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
Love and Innocence Theme Icon
...arrival that has made things go downhill. Alison says no—it began as an escape after Hugh left. It was a way for them to show “dumb, uncomplicated affection,” and “a silly... (full context)
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
Love and Innocence Theme Icon
...Cliff asks if he’s all right. To Alison, Jimmy says that the call was about Hugh’s mum, who has had a stroke. After a “slight pause,” Alison says that she’s sorry.... (full context)
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
Love and Innocence Theme Icon
To Alison, Jimmy says that he remembers Hugh’s mum’s reaction to their wedding photo. She rhapsodized over how beautiful Alison was. Alison is... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
Love and Innocence Theme Icon
Alison says that Jimmy is seeing Hugh’s mum, because she’s had a stroke and her son is away. She says that Jimmy... (full context)