Rebel and Social Climber: John Braine’s Room at the Top


  • Ramandeep Mahal, Tanu Bura


revolution, society, status, socialism


Britain, as every different Nation-State was also afflicted with class disparities or biases from the beginning of its socio-political existence. The industrial revolution of the nineteenth century exacerbated these disparities. The working, lower, upper–middle, and upper class were four main classes of British society. The war's disruptions had an effect of rearranging of existing social status and inter-class relationships. The post war environment was engulfed in rage and disillusionment. In 1956, majority of Europe was in a state of upheaval. Young people's rage was caused by a variety of factors connected to the prevailing conditions. There was a proliferation of regional universities that provided schooling to working-class people, resulting in white collar unemployment. Tone of protest was escalating by the second half of the decade. Room at the Top, a work by John Braine published in 1957 was set in the post war period and pessimistic about the so called professed values of the Labour Government in Britain. "The Top" was attained by the protagonist not through socialism, but through human self promotion. The protagonist of this novel, Joe Lampton, does not defeat the upper class; however, he also becomes part of them. He doesn't sponsor any wars, but he does sponsor professional achievement based on good looks. As a result, the rage seems to be a ruse to achieve his goals. Indeed, he is one of those who express their rage and rebellion by barging into the very class they despise. This paper basically focuses on the rebelliousness and social climbing nature of the protagonist in the novel Room at the Top and everyone is aware that the young generations are losing the earth now