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The Importance Of Birling's Interaction With The Inspector In Act One Of An Inspector Calls

2045 words - 9 pages

The Importance of Birling's Interaction with the Inspector in Act One of An Inspector Calls

'An Inspector Calls' was written in 1945 by J.B Priestly who was a
socialist. It was written to make people recognise that capitalism is
incorrect and socialism is correct.' An Inspector Calls' was set in
1912 which is immediately before the First World War. Priestly was
writing in this period to inform people of the consequences of self
confidence and selfishness. In this play Birling represents all the
capital views and Eva, the workers and the Inspector represent the
socialist views. The Birling's are all of high class and the majority
of the family assume they ...view middle of the document...

Several people who were of the lower class were so depressed
with no where to live and no money that they were forced into suicide.
The lower classes were treated harshly with no consideration. In 1912
the higher class had additional power than those of the lower class
and they governed and led the country which left the lower class no
say or power in society.

Birling is the type of character the entire play warns against, 'a
hard-headed business man' he believes that society is as it ought to
be. The rich should remain rich and the poor should remain poor, there
is an immense gap between the two classes. He is a typical family man
and is very opinionated and 'rather portentous' which means that he
believes he is significant to society.Birling makes numerous long
speeches which shows that he is self confident and constantly believes
he knows best. He also believes that a 'man has a mind his own
business and look after himself and his own' however Eva was trying to
make her own way and he prevented this. When the audience reviews
everything Birling has predicted and said in the play, the audience
recognise that Priestly and Birling's views are dissimilar.Birling's
confidence in the predictions he makes, that the Titanic is
'unsinkable,absoulotely unsinkable', that 'the Germans don't want a
war. Nobody wants a war' and that 'we're in for a time of increasing
prosperity' give the audience the impression that his views of the
community and shared responsibility are also false. Every one of the
predictions Birling makes is incorrect; the Titanic sank on her maiden
voyage, WW1 broke out two years later after the play was set and the
American stock market crashed in 1929, plunging the world into
economic chaos. This leads the audience to think Birling as a man of
many words but little sense and because of this the audience doesn't
trust Birling throughout the play.

Birling refers to Eva in a patronising way 'country-bred girl' and
'good little worker' are examples of this. The way in which Birling
answers the questions 'slowly' and uninformative makes the audience
assume that Birling knows the treatment of the workers is unjust but
it is just too late to change his views.

The Inspector affects all the Birling's at the dinner party, and makes
them realise their weaknesses and selfishness, and of the terrible
consequences that their actions caused. Where Birling's predictions
are wrong, the Inspector predicts that if people don't learn their
responsibilities and don't get their priorities correct then they will
be 'taught in fire and blood and anguish' which makes the audience
believe that if people don't take responsibility in the first place
they will suffer a great deal more.Birling and the Inspector are two
completely different characters so the Inspector is a threat to
...

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