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An Inspector Calls - Which character is most affected by the events in the play?

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Which character is most affected by the events in the play? "An inspector calls" was written around 1944 and is set around 1912. Arthur Birling, used to show the capitalist view, is self-indulged and says; "A man has to look after himself" when they are talking about a community, showing he is selfish and only cares about his family and himself. He is also shown as a fool who thinks he knows everything about anything but clearly doesn't. When he talks about the "unsinkable Titanic" and that "there isn't a chance of war" shows he doesn't know much because there were two wars between the setting of the play and the date it was written, and the Titanic also sunk. When the family learn about the death of Eva, Mr Birling is the first to be questioned by the inspector. He resists questions from the inspector; "I can't think they can be of any great consequence." He also uses his authority to try and avoid interrogation; "Perhaps I'd ought to warn you [Chief Constable Colonel Roberts] is an old friend of mine" demonstrating his power and showing he is an upper class man. I don't think Eva Smiths death affected Mr Birling much because he didn't really know her. He does remember her as being a; "Lively, good looking girl... ...read more.


He says to them; "How do we know it's the same girl?" This leaves the family pondering the situation and the inspectors identity. Next to be questioned was Mrs Birling. Unlike Eric, she had no sympathy for Eva when she was asked to help her. Eva went to Mrs Birlings charity to ask for help but was refused because she used the name "Mrs Birling" which Sybil Birling described as; "Gross impertinence". Sybil doesn't accept any responsibility for Evas death because she says; "I did nothing I'm ashamed of" and; "I consider I did my duty." This also proves she is very shallow. She then goes on to say; "First [I blame] the girl herself" and "I blame the young man who was the father" shifting the blame off her and her family onto Eva/ Daisy. But she doesn't realise she is dropping Eric into it by saying things like; "He'd be entirely responsible" and "He'd ought to be dealt with very severely". The last person to be interviewed by the inspector is Eric. The inspector, as with Gerald and Sheila, is sympathetic and understanding towards Eric. Eric, however, has a different attitude towards answering the Inspectors questions. He knows everything has already been said and that the Inspector already knows about his dealings with Eva/ Daisy; "You know , don't you?" ...read more.


I know I did. I'm ashamed of it but now you're beginning all over again to pretend that nothing much happened." Eric also tries to centre the conversation onto Eva; "Oh- for gods sake! What does it matter now whether you got a knighthood or not?" in reaction to his fathers comment about "[being] certain for a knighthood". The two of them also state that they feel regret and shame for their actions and they both lecture the family about the evenings events. Eric says to Birling; "You told us that a man has to make his own way, look after himself and mind his own business... I didn't notice you told [the Inspector] that it's every man for himself" When Birling talks about his reputation being ruined, Sheila snaps back with; "That's not what I'm talking about. I don't care about that. The point is you don't seem to have learned anything." Priestly conveys the message that you should be careful what you do or say to people and be weary of the consequences. He shows this through all the characters and it also tells you that the smallest thing can have a large, serious outcome. For example in the play a complaint in a shop could lead to someone getting fired and then she committed suicide. ...read more.

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