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Angry Young Men: From Rebellion to Resignation

Angry Young Men: From Rebellion to Resignation

Author(s): Shi Long
127pp  November  2022
  • ISBN: (Ebook)  978-1-934502-31-0 USD $25.00
  • ISBN: ( Print)  978-1-934502-31-0 USD $40.00
Author Information

Angry Young Men, an important western literary form, has jumped to spotlight
in Britain in the 1950s. Its advent helps fill the then low tide of the literature with
energy. It is known that in literature flourished in English literature for over 30
years, however, the writers of 1950s have taken place of modernism, which altered
the traditions and practices of prewar British writing. It is the writers and their
writings of 1950s who reflected the British society after the World War II, revealing
the pursuit and way of life of the young after the World War II, presenting us with
the vivid picture of the British society and the vicissitude of the times.
On the basis of the review of current studies concerning Angry Young Men, the
thesis provides an overall study of Angry Young Men on the base of analysis of the
masterpiece of Angry Young Men writers, Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim, John
Osborne’s Look Back in Anger and Philip Larkin’s poetry, including Angry Young
Men’s background, from rebellion to resignation, a survey of the philosophical and
aesthetic source and literary characteristics.
The book is divided into six parts. The first part mainly discusses the
background of Angry Young Men. The key issue of the social background is the
influence of World War Ⅱ on the social and cultural climate of Britain. After World
War II, the Britain was greatly destroyed by the war with stagnant economy,
penurious material, hard lives, sharp class conflict, at the same time, the
independence of colonial and semi-colonial countries became hot, the British
Empire lost its position in the world, which made the feeling of anger crept in the
British mind, especially in the mind of the young. All of this pave the way for the
development of realism. In the literary background, the development of English
literature in the 20th century is analyzed, based on the David Lodge’s Pendulum
Theory of alternate appearance between modernism and anti-modernism, we know
that the literature of 1950s is the product of the Pendulum Theory when the
pendulum swayed back to the 1950s. Next section is the literary review. The literary
review provides a picture of the current research on the Angry Yong Men, which
helps establish the proper foundation and standpoint of my study.
The second part is devoted to a survey of the philosophical and aesthetic
source of Angry Young Men. The aim of the survey is modem Existentialism.
The third part is a characteristic analysis based on the textual analysis of works.
By doing so, the thesis tries to discover the characterization of anti-hero and the
new perspective of the theme.
The fourth part centers on an overall study of Angry Young Men, which covers
the real reasons, the way to rebellion, looking for identity and limitations and
The fifth part is a series study of Angry Young Men from a postmodern
perspective, which focus on Philip Larkin’s poetry, Lucky Jim and Look Back in
The sixth part is the conclusion. Based on the survey above, the thesis draws
the following conclusion that under the certain milieu of the 1950s, the emergence
and the development of Angry Young Men and the philosophical and aesthetical
view they held is the product of British society, and the outcome of the rules of the
development of English literature.
Pingdingshan University

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