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Before we discus the character of Arthur Birling we must first look at what kind of a play 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B Priestly is.

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'An Inspector Calls' Before we discus the character of Arthur Birling we must first look at what kind of a play 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B Priestly is. On one hand 'An Inspector Calls' is a modern social drama, which deals with domestic and social issues. On the other hand it adopts from the medieval tradition of the morality play, in that it uses allegorical techniques to teach us a simple moral lesson. The play of 'An Inspector Calls' is set in the dining-room of the Birling residence. The industrial town of Brumley where the Birling's live is a fictitious town. The play is set in 1912, before the First World War even though it was written over thirty years later in 1947. ...read more.


Arthur Birling is described to be a heavy- looking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties with fairly easy manners but rather provincial in his speech. Arthur Birling's ambition is to get a knighthood. Sybil Birling his wife appears to be socially superior to him. "Arthur you are not supposed to say such things". This shows Sybil Birling is very aware of correct behaviour. Birling is unsophisticated, self important and pompous. "I've learnt in the good hard school of experience that a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own". He thinks he is only responsible for himself and his family. ...read more.


He believes that he has the right attitude for a business man. Throughout the play Priestley's use of suspense as the story unfolds and added dramatic irony contribute to the engagement of the audience. In the final scene the audience see the 'coup de theatre' of the play. There has been another telephone call. A.B. puts down the phone and looks in a panic stricken way at the others. "That was the police. A girl has just died on her way to the infirmary- after swallowing some disinfectant. The audience will be left wondering, but it appears that the family's problems have not been resolved. Although 'An Inspector Calls' was written in 1947 it is still relevant today at we are all sensitive to the vicissitudes of life. ...read more.

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