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An Inspector Calls - J.B.Priestly -

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Introduction

"An Inspector Calls"-J.B.Priestly GCSE Coursework assignment: "Which characters in the play do you like most. And which do you like least? Say why!" ---------------------------- The inspector arrives at the Birling's house in the evening, during a family get-together to celebrate the engagement of their daughter to Gerald Croft. The inspector questions every member of the family individually, starting with Mr. Birling. Mr & Mrs Birling who do not like the way the inspector is interrogating them, get angry with him, and accuse him of being rude. However Sheila, Mr & Mrs Birling's daughter, and Gerald are honest, and can face their mistakes. This is one of the reasons why I like Sheila and Gerald, and dislike Mr & Mrs Birling. Sheila is a young and pretty girl, who is honest and likes it when other people are truthful. We know this because when the Inspector shows her the photograph of Eva Smith, she says, "You knew it was me all the time, didn't you?" Here she admits straightaway that she had a part to play in the death of Eva Smith. Unlike Mr & Mrs Birling who put up excuses every time the Inspector catches them out. As I have said before she also likes it when other people are sincere. ...read more.

Middle

When Eva's death hits him properly he becomes shocked and says, ' ...I've suddenly realised-taken it in properly-that she's dead.' Moreover, it becomes clear that Gerald helped Eva out of true sympathy for her situation and did not take advantage of her. After the inspector has finished questioning him, Gerald goes out of the house. He is distressed and so wants to be alone for a while. While he is strolling on his own he meets up with a policeman he knows and asks the policeman about the Inspector. The policeman is pretty sure that there is no Inspector Goole in Brumley. This news confuses Gerald but he is also relieved and pleased that the Inspector is a hoax. When he comes back to the Birling's house he excitedly tells everyone that the Inspector was a hoax, he says, 'That man wasn't a police officer.' Mr & Mrs Birling are delighted at this news, Sheila and Eric are still not convinced and Gerald has mixed feelings. Gerald does not celebrate at this news like Mr & Mrs Birling do, but he his pleased and I think he has understood what the Inspector had to say. Mr & Mrs Birling are totally different people, compared to Gerald and Sheila. Mr Birling is proud of having made a success of his life. ...read more.

Conclusion

She is extremely snobbish, and expects others to show her respect. She hates being contradicted, even when caught out telling outright lies by the Inspector. When subject to criticism, Mrs. Birling retreats behind words like 'respectable', 'duty', and 'deserving'. She seems to feel that she is qualified to judge what such words mean. She thinks that people from the 'lower classes' have different feelings from her own: they are almost a different species. Eva Smith's pleas for help offend Mrs. Birling, because the girl was 'giving herself ridiculous airs' and 'claiming elaborate fine feelings'. Mrs. Birling tries to use her husband's social position to threaten the Inspector, she says to him, 'You know of course that my husband was Lord Mayor only two years ago and that he's still a magistrate,' the Inspector already knows this and Mrs. Birling is confused when this tactic fails. When the Inspector has left, Mrs. Birling forcefully criticises the others for not standing firm against someone who is their social inferior. She argues that if she had been present when the Inspector first arrived, she would have dealt with his cheekiness severely. It is difficult to decide whether, at the end of the play, Mrs. Birling has learned to behave in a compassionate or caring way in the future. Perhaps the Inspector's call has only served to harden her attitudes. English coursework - Nassar Ahmad 11D ...read more.

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