Angry Young Men



  • A term applied by journalists to a number of young Britishdramatists and novelists in the later 1950s. Although the writerswere not part of any organized movement, their work shared a numberof characteristics, in particular an aggressive dissatisfaction withthe social and moral values of post-war British society. Their concentrationon the lives of the middle and working classes was something of adeparture from the concerns of the previous generation of writers,who were generally from, and wrote about, the upper strata of Englishsociety. Principal figures associated with the term include ArnoldWesker, and especially John Osborne, whose playLook Back in Anger (1956) is usually seen as the quintessentially'Angry' work. Stylistically there is an emphasis on naturalism andthe language of ordinary people. see also kitchen sink.