As Look Back in Anger was set in the Midlands, John Osborne used accent and dialect throughout the whole of the play. The language in this play is somewhat different to the plays written and produced before John Osborne’s time. Osborne uses very realistic and modern language to get his point, views and ideas across to the audience.
In the play Cliff is Welsh, and throughout the play we hear his strong Welsh accent coming through. At the end of Act 1, we hear Cliff say, “I’m not her type. Am I dullin?” The reader can now tell that Cliff has an accent. He also uses the word ‘boyo’, this is also evident that he has an accent.
Throughout the play John Osborne uses quite a number of pauses and silences, he uses these techniques to build up tension and suspense. When my group acted out one of many of the plays pauses, I found that it did have a major effect on the way in which we acted it out. The pause I acted out was at the beginning of Act three scene one. I played Jimmy Porter and my colleagues played the roles of Helena and Cliff. After Cliff says, “That stinking old pipe!” there is quite a long pause. My colleagues and I tried to fill this pause with the use of eye contact, facial expressions and gestures to make it more enjoyable to watch. After Cliff said his line I looked at Helena with the stubborn look on my face trying to give the impression that Helena means more to me now that Cliff does. Cliff folded his arms because he felt betrayed that I was with Helena and not Alison.
As there are only five characters throughout the play, Osborne uses monologues quite a lot. The protagonist, Jimmy Porter, has the most monologues throughout the entire play. Although Alison does not speak as much as Jimmy, when she is upset or not in the presence of Jimmy, we find out that she more openly talks in the form of deep meaningful monologues. I feel that Jimmy makes Alison feel very uneasy about herself, so she tends to not open up as much with him. We then find that in act three scene two, when Helena and Alison are on their own, Alison has lengthy monologues because she is feeling very emotional and Jimmy is not present.
Osborne uses cognitive access in this play. The main example of cognitive access used in this play is when Alison told Cliff she was pregnant with Jimmy’s child. The audience find out that she is pregnant before Jimmy does and he is the father. Osborne uses cognitive access to make the audience more interested and intrigued with the play. This makes the audience wait for reactions and comments to be passed which they already know will have to happen. For example they want to wait to find out how Jimmy will react when he finds out Alison is having his baby.
Osborne also uses dramatic irony in the play. In the play there is one significant piece of irony. This is when Jimmy is talking to Alison he says, “If you could have a child, and it would die. Let it grow, let a recognisable human face emerge from the little mass of indiarubber and wrinkles.” This is very ironic because towards the end of the play Alison actually does lose the baby. She says, “I lost the child. It’s a simple fact. There is no judgement, there is no blame.”
When Alison and Jimmy are talking at the very end of Act three scene two, it is a very emotional time. This makes it dramatic because they use the metaphors of the bears and the squirrels and they both go back into they’re unreal world. These metaphors represent emotion. Throughout the play Jimmy and Alison play an unrealistic game where Jimmy pretends to be the bear and Alison the squirrel. They do this to escape from the difficulty of living in the real world.
Jimmy, “we’ll be together in our bear cave and our squirrel’s drey, and we’ll live on honey and nuts, and we’ll sing songs about ourselves……”
Alison then nods and adds, “poor bears! Oh poor, poor bears!”
Osborne uses sub-text in the play. Throughout the play there are times when characters say one thing but the audience knows there is also a hidden meaning behind the words. Sub-text means what are characters sub-conscious thoughts and feelings are. Sub-text is not only affected by the character’s line s but of the other characters lines as well. Sub-text is used in the play. An example of this is when Alison leaves with her father, and there is only Cliff and Helena in the flat and Cliff says, “He’s all yours!” this shows that Cliff knows that Helena has strong feelings for Jimmy. He is saying that Alison is gone and she can have Jimmy all to herself.