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Compare the responses of Mr. Birling and Sheila to the inspector. How would you stage the play to bring out their differences?

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Introduction

Compare the responses of Mr. Birling and Sheila to the inspector. How would you stage the play to bring out their differences? This play was set in 1912 but wasn't actually performed on staged until 1945. The main characters are the Birling family, which consisted of Arthur Birling, Sheila Birling, Sybil Birling, and Eric Birling. There were also other characters such as Eva Smith otherwise known as Daisy Renton, Gerald Croft and Inspector Goole. At the beginning the Birlings are holding a family dinner party as they are celebrating the Engagement of their daughter Sheila Birling to Mr. Gerald Croft, who has a wealthy and very important family. While they are celebrating the inspector arrives who is investigating the suicide of a young working-class woman. He slowly examines every member of the Birling family and the goes on to examine Gerald Croft too. Under all of the pressure of the inspector's interrogation it turns out that every member of the Birling family including Gerald have all had something to do with the death of the young victim. The author of this play J.B Priestley wrote this play to convey his very crucial and important message about society and how every one needs to work together collectively in today's society. The play also shows how the workers and the factory owners had conflict this was because there was a social divide, this was caused by factory owners making workers work long and unsocial hours for very poor wages so this ended up in an industrial revolution. ...read more.

Middle

We can also tell in a way she was jealous of Eva smith because she says "I caught sight of this girl smiling at Miss. Francis.... and I was absolutely frantic!" So we can see by this that Sheila is not just angry with Eva Smith, but that she was also jealous of her by the way in which Sheila reacts to something so insignificant to this. This shows that she always wants things to go her won way and if she doesn't get what she wants then she will cause a scene and will get very vicious! As a result of what Eva did Sheila threatened to close down her account at Millwards, which means a lot to the manager as the Birling family are very rich and valued customers so the manager has no choice but to fire Eva smith despite the fact that she has done nothing wrong! Sheila and Arthur are very contracting and contradicting characters. We can see how they are different because Sheila is a symbol of the younger generation where as Birling is a symbol of the older generation. Sheila is more liable to accept when she is wrong and accept her responsibilities in life, but Mr. Birling will never accept his mistakes and if he thinks he is right then no one can prove him wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

This makes the audience look upon Arthur as being a very narrow minded and arrogant character in the play. The main point of contrast between Mr. Arthur Birling and Sheila Birling is the fact that their generations make their actions and mannerisms so unlike and create the contrast between them! The main contrasting point between these two characters is that the younger generation are a lot more impressionable and responsive to change for the best. Where as the older generation are a lot more irresponsible and are lees likely to change for the best or to even accept when they are wrong. The author J.B Priestley has included a moral to this play. This is that every body is responsible for every one else and that every body should work together in collectivism - unlike the character of Mr. Arthur Birling who only looks after him self and looks out for his family and does not believe in helping any one else except his family and no body else - as you can tell through out he is very selfish! Even though this play was set in 1912 it was actually aimed at an audience in the 1945 and the moral and message that J.B Priestley was trying to portray to the audience was that "every body is responsible for every one!" And in fact this still rings true even in today's society despite the fact this message was sent out by J.B Priestley around 90 years ago! The End 1 Lucy McCall 11e ...read more.

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