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

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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.

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