Look Back in Anger

Trumpet Symbol Icon
Jimmy’s jazz trumpet can be heard off stage at various points in the play. Jazz has traditionally been protest music, and is associated with the working classes. It symbolizes Jimmy’s desire to be a voice of resistance in society, but it also shows the futility of that dream. It serves largely to annoy and antagonize those around him, not to call a movement to attention. Like Jimmy’s pipe smoke, the trumpet also allows Jimmy to assert his dominance non-verbally. He disrupts his domestic scene (playing the trumpet only inside), but makes little headway truly disrupting the world around him.
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Trumpet Symbol Timeline in Look Back in Anger

The timeline below shows where the symbol Trumpet appears in Look Back in Anger. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 1
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
...boiling water into a teapot. She wears a slip and no shoes. Jimmy plays the trumpet from across the hall. The table in the center of the room is set for... (full context)
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
...says that she knocked on the door of Cliff’s room, where Jimmy is playing the trumpet, but that he didn’t answer. Cliff is nowhere to be found. Alison says she wishes... (full context)
Class and Education Theme Icon
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
Love and Innocence Theme Icon
...that he isn’t an alcoholic. There is a pause while both women listen to Jimmy’s trumpet. Then Helena says the music makes it sound like he’d like to kill her. She... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
Disillusionment and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Love and Innocence Theme Icon
The scene opens just a few minutes later. Jimmy is playing his jazz trumpet across the hall. Helena is standing at the table pouring tea. Alison sits in an... (full context)
Class and Education Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...that she still feels it, and that though it isn’t “logical,” it’s “right.” Offstage, “the trumpet gets louder.” Alison says that Helena shouldn’t leave Jimmy, because he needs her. He wants... (full context)
Class and Education Theme Icon
Suffering and Anger vs. Complacency Theme Icon
The trumpet eventually stops, and Helena calls Jimmy to speak with them. Jimmy asks if Alison is... (full context)