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

How important is Birlings introduction with the inspector in act 1 of "an inspector calls"?

Extracts from this document...


An Inspector Calls How important is Birlings introduction with the inspector in act 1 of "an inspector calls"? How does Priestley show the difficulties of workers at this time? At the start of "An inspector calls" Mr Arthur Birling the owner of a local factory is faced with the task of dealing with his work force going on strike, as they want a pay rise. His workers demanded a rise from twenty-two and six up to twenty-five shillings a week. Birling refused to meet their demands and offered his workers their jobs back at the previous rate. This was to the majority of the workers but the ringleaders of the strike were dismissed. Miss Eva Smith was said to be one of the ringleaders and despite being a good worker she was released. The inspector tells the Birling family this information as they are celebrating the engagement of Miss Sheila Birling daughter of Arthur to Mr Gerald Croft whose family own a large company who are in the same industry as the Birlings. The inspector had came to inform the family that Miss Eva Smith had died that night and he had suspicion to believe that Mr Birling started the chain of events that lead to the downfall of Eva Smith. Mr Birling believed that he had every right to discharge her as she had disrupted his business and asked for wages that were above the standard rate. ...read more.


The inspector says "its better top ask for the earth, than to take It." When they talk about Eva Smith and the workers asking for a salary increase. This comment undermines Birlings authority and is from here on offended by the inspector. When Birling says, "If they didn't like those rates, they could go and work somewhere else". Eric then also undermines his father and the inspector once more as he agrees with Eric. The atmosphere and lighting change dramatically when Birling and the inspector have disputes. Birling does not accept any of the responsibility that is directed towards him over the death of Eva Smith. He defends himself sharply and sounds guilty, as he is desperate to protect his innocence. Birling exclaims, "I can't accept any responsibility." This shows he feels no sympathy or regret towards the death of Eva Smith. He admits that when Eva Smith did work for him she was a very good worker and was ready to be promoted he says "A good worker too ready to promote to leading operator." He admits that the only reason that she was sacked is that she was one of the leaders of the strike. Birling expected that Eva Smith became a prostitute when she left his workforce. Birling says, "Get into trouble? Go on the streets" As this is what people thought would happen to a stereotypical young lower classed woman during that period. ...read more.


He took Eva back to his apartment and let her stay there for a while. She was happy but they knew that the relationship could not go on so Gerald asked her to leave; at least Eva was happy for a while. Sybil was the next part and had the best opportunity of saving Eva from her downfall. Eva went to an association, that is designed to help women in need, where Sybil Birling is the chairwoman and requested help. Eva was pregnant and in desperate need of help. She claimed her surname was Birling and Sybil knew she was lying so had an immediate prejudice against her. She refused to give any aid to her. Eric is the last person for the inspector to investigate and he had a love affair with Eva Smith and gave her money, which is later found to be stolen. He helps her survive but when she realises it is stolen money she refuses it. The events took place prior to Eva requesting help from Mrs Birling association. Eva used the surname Birling as she had just finished her affair with Eric Birling. The reader is led to believe that Eric has made Eva pregnant. After the book the audience are made to think that socialism is right as opposed to capitalism. This is because socialism is portrayed in a good way and the characters that capitalism are arrogant and ostentatious. ...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. An inspector calls - An introduction

    She refuses to allow the ordeal any value in her life. Gerald, Sheila's fianc� is also involved in this case of Eva Smith. He had an affair with her the summer before. Gerald had thought his involvement with Eva Smith was "all over and done with last summer" but generally comes to recognise that his actions have had lasting consequences.

  2. The Inspector takes the shallow morality of the Birlings and shows there is no ...

    The doorbell is described as 'sharp'. This is significant as the Inspector is going to puncture Birling's philosophy. The doorbell interrupts the speech. It is the ominous Inspector Goole. The Inspector enters and tells the family about the death of a young woman.

  1. How important is Birlings interaction with the inspection in act 1 of "an inspector ...

    Birling is portrayed as an unsociable person that does not care about others around him. This is shown by Birling starting off the chain of events of Evas death by firing her and not thinking about the consequences. The arrival of the inspector changes the atmosphere of the room entirely


    He says: Well here's to us. Come on, Sheila, don't look like that. All over now. The fact that he says that everything is "over now" again shows the audience that he didn't care about the girl's death and was just solely worried about the news getting about and people gossiping.

  1. Inspector calls

    He is worried about social reform as he knows it would change everything he had, he didn't want to see a difference in British life or socialist/trade unions the hard headedness could also mean hard heartedness as he doesn't actually care about Eva just about getting himself out of the dangerous situation.

  2. Examine the characters of the Birlings and Gerald

    Sheila takes a big part in the Inspector's examination of her mother. From the beginning she tries to warn her mother to be wary of the Inspector with words such as, "You mustn't try to build up a wall between you and the Inspector.

  1. How important is Birling's interaction with the Inspector in Act1 of 'An Inspector Calls'? ...

    Birling is the type of character the entire play warns against, 'a hard-headed business man' he believes that society is as it ought to be. The rich should remain rich and the poor should remain poor, there is an immense gap between the two classes.

  2. In the introduction of Act One, we are given a few brief details about ...

    and he sees his daughter's marriage as a step towards social acceptance This makes it clear that he started this in his own private life and he now wants his daughter to do the same, marry into status. He believes success is wealth, class and power and the easiest route to success is to marry into it.

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