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An Inspector Calls Extract - Act One. W h a t d o e s t h i s e x t r a c t r e v e a l a b o u t ? M r B i r l i n g P r i e s t l e y s o p i n i o n s

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Introduction

AN INSPECTOR CALLS ? ACT ONE (pg 6 and 7) What does this extract reveal about? 1. Mr Birling 2. Priestley?s opinions In An Inspector Calls, Mr Birling represents Capitalism and is everything Priestley wants to eradicate in 1945. His ideology is apparent throughout the entire extract, stating, ?You?ll be living in a world that?ll have forgotten all these Capital versus Labour agitations...? At the time the play premiered two weeks after the war had ended in the Soviet Union in 1945 when the Labour party was becoming more and more predominant in the United Kingdom. The second ever Labour Prime Minister, Atlee was elected and Priestly was likely influencing the unconvinced that socialism is a better ideology. There is also dramatic irony because audience know that Labour was not forgotten as the century progressed it in fact popularised. ...read more.

Middle

Through this, a stereotypical image of a capitalistic businessman with inherent heartlessness is created. Furthermore, Birlings dislike for socialism and his belief of how inferior those who hold this ideology are illustrated when he states, ?there will be peace and prosperity everywhere-except in Russia which will always be behind naturally.? At the time in Russia, Lenin and the revolutionary social movement, communism was appearing for the first time and in 1940 there was no peace anywhere as the world had entered the Second World War. Birling clearly believed that socialists cannot be successful and affluent in the world. He believes to be successful one has to be selfish. Many of his statements also seem to be ways of impressing Gerald who is his way of building his business through Crofts Ltd which was likely an older and even more prosperous business than his own. ...read more.

Conclusion

His failure to accept responsibility and consistent reliance on the power of money to solve any issues contrasts with the more humane and socialist outlook of Sheila and Eric and ultimately Priestley. Birling states, ?You?ll be marrying at a very good time. Yes, a very good time...? His use of the word ?yes? leads the audience to believe he is forming these opinions as he gives the speech. His caesura that makes the speech fragmented also reinforces the fact he is thinking as he speaks and subsequently what he says is mindless opinion reasoning. The reference to the Titanic can also be interpreted as a symbol of the Birlings because on the surface it was luxurious, more superior and believed to be unsinkable over every other ship. The Birlings held this idea of themselves, however, when the Inspector entered their household he acted as the iceberg that sank the Titanic. ...read more.

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