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How does Priestly present the character of Mrs Birling to the audience in Act ll, during her interrogation by the inspector?

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Introduction

Victoria Hedley 07/09/03 GCSE English Coursework: An Inspector Calls How does Priestly present the character of Mrs Birling to the audience in Act ll, during her interrogation by the inspector? The play 'An Inspector Calls' was written in the last months of World War 2 and set in 1912, two years before World War 1. 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B.Priestly presents its audience with contrasting and conflicting views about community and personal responsibility, which are all still relevant at the beginning of the 21st century. He did this by setting it in 1912 when there was a huge social gap in society between the upper class and working class. Some even feared there might be a revolution. A war was already taking place in the Balkans between Montenegro and Turkey and the Titanic was set to sail but unfortunately sink the following week. ...read more.

Middle

The mood is very light hearted until the Inspector arrives and tells them of the suicide of a young girl named Eva Smith, who worked in one of Mr Birling's factories. The Inspector questions each of them in turn. Through the first 2 Acts they all realise how they are implicated in the girls death. The mood at the end of Act 2, when Eric enters the room, is one of extreme tension, by the end of Act 3 all the members of the Birling family have revealed their true natures under the Inspectors interrogation. In Act 2 when Mrs Birling enters the Act, multitudes of previously unknown truths have already been disclosed. Mrs Birling is one of the last members of the family to be 'interrogated' by the mysterious Inspector. From her entrance to the end of the act, we see a rainbow of feelings, starting in the bright cheerful colours of the emotional spectrum and ending in the dark murky unhappy ones. ...read more.

Conclusion

She does not she how this could have anything to do with her family. Sybil does not like the idea of her family getting a "bad name" both her and Mr Birling are worried about what will happen when "this all gets out". Further on as she learns a lot more about her family she begins to get more and more defensive towards the Inspector. I think that Priestley's description of Mrs Birling at the beginning of the play corresponds to that which shines through, throughout the play. The way he has perceived Mrs Birling is very accurate to how a woman in her position in that period would both act and react towards the Inspectors questioning and the reputation of her family. I think Priestleys message in this play is one of 'equality' and that Mr Birling's theory "each man for himself" is completely wrong. 1 ...read more.

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