Bear and Squirrel Game contributes to the dramatic interest in Look Back in Anger

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Look Back in Anger is a notable literary work by John Osborne. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Look Back in Anger.


How does the Bear and Squirrel game contribute to the dramatic interest in “Look Back in Anger”?


Look Back in Anger” (1956) is a groundbreaking play by John Osborne (1929-1994). The play revolves around the relationship between a young married couple, Jimmy Porter and Alison. It explores themes of class struggle, disillusionment, and societal constraints. In the play, Bear and Squirrel Game is one of the significant elements that contribute to the dramatic interest. The Bear and Squirrel game symbolizes the complex relationship between Jimmy and Alison.

The Symbolism of the Bear and Squirrel Game: Jimmy and Alison play with a toy bear and squirrel. Jimmy is associated with the Bear, and Alison with the squirrel. The Bear and Squirrel game serves as a metaphor for their relationship. It gives them a way to access a simple affection for each other that they cannot achieve in normal life.

The Bear and Squirrel game is a powerful symbol. When Jimmy and Alison act like animals whose only concerns are food, shelter, and sex, they can forget societal and class conflicts. They can feel a simpler version of love for each other. Osborne suggests that in a society affected by class tension and lack of opportunity for the working class, love is only possible in a dehumanized state.

Struggles for Control and Dominance: The Bear and Squirrel game highlights the constant struggle for control and dominance in Jimmy and Alison’s marriage. Jimmy wants to be the Bear. He wants Alison to be the submissive Squirrel. Jimmy desires to have the upper hand, but he also resents the power he has over her. He exclaims, “It’s no fun if you don’t try to get away,” indicating his yearning for a more challenging relationship where he does not hold all the control. This struggle for power adds tension and intensity to their interactions.

Emotional Isolation and Lack of Communication: Through the Bear and Squirrel game, the audience sees the emotional isolation and lack of communication between Jimmy and Alison. Instead of addressing their issues openly and honestly, they resort to this game to express their feelings indirectly. This lack of genuine communication deepens their emotional disconnect and leads to more significant conflicts and misunderstandings.

Impact on the Audience: The Bear and Squirrel game captures the audience’s attention because it represents a universal struggle in relationships – the desire for power and the complexities of communication.

Insight into Jimmy’s Character: The game provides valuable insights into Jimmy’s character and his frustration with society. As he explains the game, he remarks, “It’s the old human problem, isn’t it? People don’t like you to be above them.” This statement reveals his deep-seated resentment towards societal norms and his struggle to find a place where he feels accepted and understood. The Bear and Squirrel game becomes an outlet for Jimmy’s anger and disillusionment.

Overall, the Bear and Squirrel game in “Look Back in Anger” serves as a compelling and relatable metaphor that enhances the dramatic interest of the play. Through this game, the audience gains insights into the complex relationships, emotional struggles, and societal discontent of the characters.