Literature And Context : Britain During The 1950s

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Literature in context – Britain in the 1950s assignment four

“The myth that women were universally happy in the role ascribed to them in the post-war period, that they passively accepted, or were deceived into accepting, this narrow view of their potential, is still held as a truth about the 1950s”

Post-war Britain in the 1950s consisted of various social conflicts and social issues that circled the era. Perhaps gender equality was a social issue that was subsided and highly disregarded. The social changes that came with the conflict surrounding gender equality included the right to vote for women over the age of twenty one (equal to men) in 1928 due to campaigning and suffragettes forcibly passing the law. The coronation of Queen
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The two texts that I will be comparing are John Osbourne’s Look back in Anger and John Braine’s Room at the Top and I will be exploring the in which women are perceived and the issues surrounding gender equality are approached throughout these texts.

Firstly, the introduction of Alison in Look Back in Anger seems to be quite fitting as she is ‘below the food cupboard. She is leaning over an ironing board’. This very small but significant aspect of the play shows the domestic role of the 1950s housewife and the initial introduction of Alison portrays a passive and domesticated woman. Osborne uses the word ‘malaise’ to describe Alison, suggesting that she is not content and uncomfortable with her lifeless domestic marriage; thus undermining the idea that women are ‘universally happy in the role ascribed to them’.

Jimmy’s anger and disappointment with his life is very much taken out on Alison. The relationship that Osbourne has created between these two characters is unhealthy, although there is no physical violence inflicted by either characters, Jimmy is aggressive towards Alison and blames her for his frustration with life. He is resentful of her upper class background claiming that she has not suffered and struggled through life, therefore she lacks a specific human quality. “If you could

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