Materialistic Society In John Osborne's The World Of Paul Slickey

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John Osborne’s play, The World of Paul Slickey was first performed in Great Britain on 14 April 1959. It propagates, man as a victim of the mechanics of social success. The play deals with the realities of contemporary mass media lacking the ethical insight and represents a fake journalist through the protagonist, Paul Slickey. The paper attempts to reveal the artificial world which usually man is forced to live in, to survive in the mechanical society. Paul Slickey alias Jack Oakham becomes the culprit in the socio-political competitive milieu. In the rat race of the materialistic society, the man is being exploited to accomplish something, he does not really want to do and his life mostly becomes a compromise like Paul Slickey in the play. Keywords: Angry Young Man, Beat Generation, Post World War, Commodification The World of Paul Slickey is a, “protest play with interspersed songs, this was specifically designed to provoke the maximum hostility from the Establishment by insulting the critics (as its representatives) and dedicated to their boredom their incomprehension, their distaste” (Christopher Innes, MBDTC 93). According to Colin Wilson in The Rise and Fall of Angry Young Men, “Long before the end of 1956, everyone was sick of the ‘Angry Young Man Cult’, including the popular newspapers that had launched…show more content…
The play starts with the description of Scene I of Act I where “a cloth covered in large keyholes is revealed, through which can be seen parts of Paul Slickey’s office . . .” (11). Paul Slickey’s image is revealed through the keyholes, it is actually Slickey’s ‘self’ which he does not want to reveal to the outside world where he is known as Jack Oakham. Jack is afraid to lose his allowances from his Boss who is also his father-in-law, Lord Mortlake. He thinks that perhaps the old man, who gave his entire estate to the family, may be dead. It is not greed but Jack’s

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