• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast two characters from the play "An Inspector Calls". Explain how Priestly uses them to show the different ideas and values of the older and younger generations.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Inspector Calls essay Compare and contrast two characters from the play "An Inspector Calls". Explain how Priestly uses them to show the different ideas and values of the older and younger generations. In the play 'An Inspector Calls' a young girl called Eva Smith commits suicide by drinking disinfectant and we see the reaction of the Birling family when they find out they all had a part in her death. The older and younger generations react differently to Eva Smiths death. Priestly wrote the play 'An Inspector Calls' in winter 1944-1945. The play was set in spring 1912 and it was first performed in 1946, in London. 'An Inspector Calls' was a well made play because their was a progression of ignorance to knowledge both characters and audience. I am comparing Sybil Birling and Shelia Birling, Sybil Birling is part of the older generation and Shelia is part of the younger generation. Shelia is warm hearted and affectionate. Shelia will take blame for what she has done. Sybil is "cold" and snobbish. She is also prejudiced and doesn't like change. She will not take blame for Eva Smiths death. In the first scene the characters are sat round a table celebrating Shelia and Gerald's engagement. ...read more.

Middle

"(To Birling) I think it was a mean thing to do. Perhaps that spoilt everything for her", here when she found out about Eva she is very quick to protect Eva Smith but not any of the members of her family. Shelia is the only member who shows any genuine sympathy for Eva. But Mrs Birling tries not to believe it because she doesn't want to spoil their family reputation. And she believes her family would not be involved in something like this, she is also shocked to find out that she is involved but feels it wasn't their fault. She doesn't want to hear about Eric and wont believe the truth. "(Distressed) Eric. I can't believe it there must be some mistake" I think Priestly uses Shelia to keep reminding the reader of Eva's horrible death; also she is the one of the very few open characters, she is able to do this well as she expresses her feelings. Like when she said "I felt rotten at the time but now I feel even worse". Unlike her mother, when Shelia hears of her involvement in Eva's death she is ready to admit to her wrongs and express her guilt freely "im actually responsible?" ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the play, she is there to remind the readers of how her family treated and spoilt the life of a young girl, simply because she was of a lower class. Sheila is used as a voice throughout the play, which is obviously what Priestly intended. He clearly must have felt that it was important to convey the message of how poorly the lower class were treated by the upper class. Through Shelia we have learnt to believe in equality, this makes the play hopeful because she then believes every one should be treated the same no matter what social class they come from. Through Sybil we learn that you should be honest, because in the end Sybil would not take blame and this didn't get her anywhere as the Inspector blamed her most for the reason that she didn't repent. I thought the play 'An Inspector Calls' was written well as Priestly maintained the interest of the audience throughout by progressive revelation, climaxes at the end of each act and spending time to reveal who is actually responsible. I think Priestly ended the play with a good ending; he ended it with something for the audience to think about. It will make them look back to look for clues that the inspector is not at all real. Kay Marriner 11U 1 English coursework 'An Inspector calls' ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Explore the way the characters between different generations is developed in An Inspector Calls

    4 star(s)

    over the fact that the Inspector may have not been a genuine police inspector. She realises that this does not change the fact that they have all done wrong, while Mr Birling doesnât care as long as nobody knows and he can keep his authority.

  2. Inspector Calls A Grade

    a socialist, after much baffling views of Eric, he eventually is shown to be a much more compassionate, caring and considerate young man, rather than the selfish ignorant boy he was at first, which shows he has matured. His anger and depression may also reflect his guilt and remorse for his part in the suicide, getting Eva pregnant.

  1. An inspector calls - How well does Sheila's comment explain the action of the ...

    Sheila: "And I am afraid you'll say or do something that you'll be sorry for afterwards". Mrs Birling: " I don't know what you are talking about Sheila." Sheila: " We all started like that - so confident, so pleased with ourselves until he began asking us questions."

  2. How are different attitudes and perceptions shown between generations in The play 'An Inspector ...

    he doesn't think they should be handed everything on a plate. He wants Eric to learn to take responsibility but how can he when he isn't given any? He thinks the younger generation are irresponsible in the way they act and the things they say.

  1. An Inspector Calls - Compare and contrast the reactions of the older generation and ...

    For example, in the face of tough questioning, Mr. Birling mentions the Chief constable and says to the Inspector "Perhaps I ought to warn you that he (the Chief Constable) is an old friend of mine, and that I see him quite frequently", the implication being that because of his connections the Inspector should ease up a little.

  2. How does the Inspectors Visit Affect two Characters in the Play?

    She had been the ringleader in a strike and when the strike was over, Birling dismissed her. The Inspector tells them after she left Birling's employment, she changed her name. She was out of work for two months. She had no money and was desperate until she found a job at a high-class clothes shop called Milwards.

  1. How are different attitudes and perceptions shown between generations in the play 'An Inspector ...

    Mr Birling believed that he had done the right thing since it was his '...duty to keep labour costs down.' (p.15). When the inspector accused him off starting off a chain of events, which led to the death of Eva Smith, Mr Birling replies '...I can't accept any responsibility.

  2. Inspector calls

    This shows us that the inspector is enforcing the point of being part of one community and those we should look out for one and other. This also shows the link of how the inspector could just be Priestley in another form such as a ghost.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work