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How are different attitudes and perceptions shown between generations in The play 'An Inspector Calls'?

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How are different attitudes And perceptions shown Between generations in The play 'An Inspector Calls'? Older and younger generations' perceptions on different aspects of day-to-day life vary greatly in the play 'An Inspector Calls'. Priestly uses character manipulation to highlight the conflicting opinions, morals and social standards between the two generations. He uses their emotions to unravel their attitudes towards their positions in society, and roles in Edwardian society, through the death of someone they all allegedly knew and whose life they affected negatively. Arthur Birling has money and status and although he has worked for them: his social standards, expectations and opinions of himself and others are dissimilar to those of people around him, or underneath him in his opinion. Birling's perceptions on life in general are very optimistic and he is rather dismissive of possible threats, '....you'll hear some people say war's inevitable. And to that I say - fiddlesticks! The Germans don't want war. Nobody wants war, except some half-civilized folks in the Balkans. And why? There's too much at stake these days. Everything to lose and nothing to gain by war.' ...read more.


Sybil dismisses the prospect of war just as her husband does and looks forward to a flourishing future. Sybil knows her place and doesn't argue with her husband but does disagree with him occasionally, 'Now Arthur, I don't think you ought to talk business on an occasion like this.' Mrs.Birling does as her husband wants her to, regarding family life. She stays at home and looks out for the children, even though her children are young adults she still sees them as little and irresponsible and she identifies them as needing guidance. Her opinion on the younger generation is, they need to follow her example and not ask any questions about any suspicious behaviour, 'When you're married you'll realize that men with important work to do sometimes have to spend nearly all their time and energy on their business. You'll have to get used to that, just as I had.' Sheila knows her position but doesn't hold back her opinions and is willing to argue with her mother and father to get her beliefs and outlook across. Birling, 'Just a minute Sheila. ...read more.


You never did. You never even tried - you-' Eric gets cut off by Arthur but the probable ending to his sentence is '-didn't love me'. He criticises his mother for always pushing him to be responsible and to follow his father. Although, regarding Daisy Renton/Eva Smith his opinion is; he did the 'right' thing for her as he had some kind of moral obligation to help her out. Eric thinks the older generation should act as role models for the young generation. The older generation give the younger generation opportunities, for example; his father provides him with work, although the older generation are far less forgiving and don't accept any nonsense and any trouble that anyone gets into is their problem, 'Because you're not the kind of father a chap could go to when he's in trouble'. He accepts the older generation are resistant to change but can't understand why they can't or don't want to listen. In term's of Edwardian society, Eric was only doing what was expected of young men and he had no responsibilities to anyone else so there wasn't anything stopping him having fun with Daisy. Overall Eric was willing to admit his role but was still ready to blame his father overly for the outcome of the situation. ...read more.

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

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    How horrible!?. This shows that she is also quite a caring woman as well as a playful one, as she is appalled by the death even though she doesn?t know who the girl is and is distressed about the death and asks questions about the girl.

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    is an old friend of mine.' (p.16). Arthur is not upset, unlike Eric, when he hears about Eva's death. He had employed her in one of his factories and had sacked her 18 months previously when she had helped organise a workers strike for more pay.

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