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english coursework - an inspector calls - eric.doc

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Introduction

>J.B. Priestley's play, An Inspector Calls, is about a successful middle class family living in Brumley, a North Midland industrial city. Although the play was written in 1946, it is written as it is in 1912. Edwardian society at that time was strictly divided into social classes. The Birlings and Gerald Croft are celebrating in a rather self-satisfied way, as Gerald and Sheila have become engaged. Arthur Birling is a rather portentous businessman, who owns Birling and Company. Sybil Birling is the upper class wife of Arthur. She is a rather cold, socially dependent woman. Sheila Birling is the daughter of Arthur and engaged to Gerald. She is a kind and thoughtful, very happy with life person. She also acts quite childlike as she calls her parents, "mummy", and, "daddy". Gerald Croft, fianc� to Sheila, is the easygoing, wealthy son of the owner of Croft Limited. Eric Birling, the son of Arthur, is a half-shy, half-assertive thoughtful gentleman who can be aggressive when he wants to, but is mainly aggressive towards his father and mother. >Eric starts off to be quite similar to his parents, but later on to be less like his mother and father, and more like his sister. Eric is a capitalist to start off with, along with the rest of the family but he disagrees with his father's view of workers, and when he finds out that his father sacked Eva Smith because she tried to get a higher wage, he says, "Why shouldn't they try for higher wages? We try for the highest possible prices. And I don't see why she should have been sacked just because she'd a bit more spirit than the others. You said she was a good worker. I'd have let her stay." This tells us that Eric is not the same as his parents, and he does not share the same views as his middle class family. ...read more.

Middle

and Mrs. Birling are all trying to prove that it was a hoax. Once they phone up the infirmary and police station, they lighten up and find it amusing that they've been fooled. They think that nothing that happened matters, and they are all pretending that nothing even happened, all apart from Eric and Sheila. Then the phone rings, saying that an inspector is on his way, as a young girl has just died in the infirmary. This happens because Gerald, Mr. Birling and Mrs. Birling are all trying to carry on, as middle class, pretending nothing even happened, so Priestley is using the telephone call as a message to say, hang on, didn't i teach you anything? >Eric represents a younger generation who have different views to capitalists, because they don't beleive in different social classes, but in thoughtfulness, compassion and responsibility. I expect that Priestley hopes, that if Eric was a factory boss, then he would treat his workers fair, and well. >J.B. Priestley's play, An Inspector Calls, is about a successful middle class family living in Brumley, a North Midland industrial city. Although the play was written in 1946, it is written as it is in 1912. Edwardian society at that time was strictly divided into social classes. The Birlings and Gerald Croft are celebrating in a rather self-satisfied way, as Gerald and Sheila have become engaged. Arthur Birling is a rather portentous businessman, who owns Birling and Company. Sybil Birling is the upper class wife of Arthur. She is a rather cold, socially dependent woman. Sheila Birling is the daughter of Arthur and engaged to Gerald. She is a kind and thoughtful, very happy with life person. She also acts quite childlike as she calls her parents, "mummy", and, "daddy". Gerald Croft, fianc� to Sheila, is the easygoing, wealthy son of the owner of Croft Limited. Eric Birling, the son of Arthur, is a half-shy, half-assertive thoughtful gentleman who can be aggressive when he wants to, but is mainly aggressive towards his father and mother. ...read more.

Conclusion

It seems Eric is now completely different to his parents now. Sheila also says, "I behaved badly too", which tells us that she and Eric are similar, and that maybe it is that the different generations think differently. Sheila says that she didn't think that he was a real inspector. But then she says, "It doesn't make any real difference", and Mrs. Birling replies, "Of course it does", and then Eric says, "No, Sheila's right. It doesn't." Mr. Birling then disagrees with Eric. Which again shows that the generations are different. After a long time of Eric and Sheila defending the dead girl, and Mr. and Mrs. Birling getting themselves out of trouble, Eric ends up shouting what really matters, "(shouting) And i say the girls dead and we all helped to kill her - and thats what matters - ". >Once Gerald has the idea that it wasn't a real inspector, all eric seems to do, is defend the girl. He is constantly saying it doesn't matter, and that it doesn't alter the fact that the girl is dead, while Gerald and Mr. and Mrs. Birling are all trying to prove that it was a hoax. Once they phone up the infirmary and police station, they lighten up and find it amusing that they've been fooled. They think that nothing that happened matters, and they are all pretending that nothing even happened, all apart from Eric and Sheila. Then the phone rings, saying that an inspector is on his way, as a young girl has just died in the infirmary. This happens because Gerald, Mr. Birling and Mrs. Birling are all trying to carry on, as middle class, pretending nothing even happened, so Priestley is using the telephone call as a message to say, hang on, didn't i teach you anything? >Eric represents a younger generation who have different views to capitalists, because they don't beleive in different social classes, but in thoughtfulness, compassion and responsibility. I expect that Priestley hopes, that if Eric was a factory boss, then he would treat his workers fair, and well. ...read more.

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