An Inspector Calls - Arthur Birling
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An Inspector Calls - Arthur Birling Mr Birling is having an enjoyable family celebration, which he is dominating with his speeches and predictions. His speeches were full of optimism, such as the titanic being unsinkable. Priestley uses this example to show how out-of-touch Birling is, how arrogant. He places his faith in business and greed, and this partly explains his pleasure in the evening since 'Crofts and Birling will be brought together to work in harmony'. His obsessive faith in the individual, in progress and capitalism is the kind of selfish attitude that has led to Eva Smith's downfall. And this is where the Inspector comes in to teach him about.
But the Inspector rejected his offer. Arthur then tries to change the subject by saying that he plays golf. The Inspector however replied that he doesn't play golf. Arthur tries an another attempt to impress the Inspector by showing him his record in public offices like Lord Mayor. The Inspector wasn't interested at all. The Inspector is no where near like Arthur, and the Inspector doesn't share the same views with him. From this Arthur was pretty annoyed that his plans didn't work. So he tries again. Arthur introduces Gerald Croft of Crofts Limited with pride, The Inspector however doesn't really care who he is. Arthur later on says to Sheila that the Inspector is going to leave.
From this it showed how selfish and self-centred he was. And from it, doesn't give a second thought from what the Inspector had tried to tell him. Overall Arthur is a stereotyped businessman who doesn't care for anyone else except for himself and his family. He only thinks within his 'limited world' where his business is far more important than any human, branding them as "cheap labour". He also tries to make his family see the world he is in. Like for example, sending his wife and Sheila out of the room to be protected from hearing about prostitutes. Mr Birling is self-centred and essentially heartless. For him as long his public reputation is safe, Mr Birling will never change from the person he is.
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