Comparison among Joyce, Beckett and Osborne from these points of view: language, plot, setting and themes
In Joyce we find a "cinematographic" language. It is a rich language, which changes from character to character and becomes either simple or complex. Joyce's language is very articulated: it reveals Dubliners' paralysis in different ways. The linguistic register is varied.
In Beckett we find an empty language, essential, meaningless and repetitive. Beckett's language is meaningless and informal because it represents the life without all meanings. In this way, the communication between characters is in the form of para-verbal language, with gags, silences and pauses.
In Osborne, we find a highly realistic language, which reveals a lack of communication because the characters don't want to communicate. It is spontaneous and vital, no longer influenced by middle-class conventions. It is crude, violent, provocative and revolutionary because shows The Angry Young Men's frustration within British society.
In Joyce the plot is intricate and varied (reflecting characters' paralysis): each story is told from the perspective of the character. The narrated monologue consists of the direct presentation of the protagonist's thought through limited mediation on the part of the narrator, and allows the reader to acquire a direct knowledge of the character.
In Beckett there isn't plot: he portrays the everyday reality which has lost all meanings. In fact the events don't mean anything in the course of the time. In Beckett we find a repetitive present, which is characterized by a dreary stability.
In Osborne, the plot contains the description of a particular moment, described in a concrete way: it shows the frustration of young people in Britain during the '50s, disillusioned by the government, through the image of the protagonist Jimmy Porter. It is characterized by the desire to hurt with the entire environment and by the rebellion against the whole Establishment.
In Joyce all stories are set in Ireland, in particular in the city of Dublin. The author wants to give a realistic portrait of ordinary people's life. In this way, he represents Dubliners' mental, emotional and biological reality.
In Beckett we find an empty stage: there isn't any setting, but a country road and a bare tree (in "Waiting for Godot").
In Osborne we find a setting much fuller and more realistic because there is the necessity to describe, in detail, the way in which the anger rises among British young people.
In Joyce emerges Dubliners' paralysis: it is physical and moral, linked to religion, politics and culture. In fact all Dubliners are slaves of their life. The main theme is the failure to find a way out of paralysis. Dubliners live as exiles ato home and are unable to cut the chains that bind them to their reality.
In Beckett, the theme of waiting is always present: the characters are waiting for someone, who can save them. Beckett deals with the religious theme playfully, devaluing it because everything is uncertain. There is no monotony: it goes from the serious theme of suicide to the "stichomythia", mixed with irony.
In Osborne, themes reflect the destruction of the certainties, the decline of religious belief and the disillusionment with socialist ideals. The main theme is the rebellion against traditional mores, middle-class values and social injustices by a working-class hero, such as Jimmy Porter.