How does Osborne present the character of Jimmy in Act 1?

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How does Osborne present the character of Jimmy in Act 1? Osborne presents Act 1 with a detailed explanation of the scene, setting and characters to give the audience his exact view. He describes Jimmy as a young man wearing ‘a very worn tweed jacket and flannels’ which in the 1950’s were standard among conservative dressers. He also expresses Jimmy in countless oxymorons, a mixture of ‘sincerity and cheerful malice’, which gives the impression Jimmy is confused, unpredictable, and perhaps insecure within his own persona. Jimmy immediately starts insulting his best friend Cliff by saying, ‘Well, you are ignorant. You’re just a peasant.’ It is clear from the following abuse and gestures, Jimmy is a man full of hatred, although the source of hatred is unknown. The audience also gets the sense that Cliff usually plays the straight man to Jimmy’s passionate outbursts, and is defensive to Jimmy’s wife Alison, as he replies ‘leave the poor girlie alone. She’s busy.’ Alison answers tersely to whatever Jimmy flings at her, responding an agreement even when Jimmy blatantly derides her intelligence. Jimmy and Cliff are attempting to read the Sunday papers, ‘price ninepence, obtainable at any bookstall’ as Jimmy snaps, claiming it from Cliff. This is a reference to the ‘New Statesman’ – a weekly magazine, and in the context of the period would have instantly signalled the pair’s political preference to the audience. We also learn about the social divide between Jimmy and Alison, as Jimmy states ‘Alison's mummy and I took one look at each other, and from then on the age of chivalry was dead’. Hierarchy is one of the themes in Osborne’s novel, a stereotypical judgment more commonly used in the 1950s. Alison was middle-upper class, whilst Jimmy was decidedly working-class, although he had the higher education. As Act 1 progresses, Jimmy becomes more and more
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