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Important Quotations - An inspector Calls

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Important Quotations - An inspector Calls Mr.Arthur Birling Mrs.Sybil Birling Sheila Eric Mr.Arthur Birling He is described at the start as a "heavy-looking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties but rather provincial in his speech." He is provincial in his speech because he is confident that people will listen to him because of his good contacts with many people of a 'higher class'. He has worked his way up in the world and is proud of his achievements. He boasts about having been Mayor and tries (and fails miserably) to impress the Inspector with his local standing and his influential friends. The inspector is not interested in his 'friends' or about how he used to be the mayor, but how Mr.Birling is involved in Eva Smiths' murder. At first, he is reluctant to reveal his relationship with Eva Smith, however he then gives in to the inspector's power, thinking that if a problem may arise, he may be able to bribe the inspector to keep quiet or just simply threaten inspector Goole with his status. He is also aware of people who are his social superiors, which is why he shows off about the port to Gerald, "it's exactly the same port your father gets." This quote shows that he is proud that he is likely to be knighted, as that would move him even higher in social circles. He boasts because he is confident and thinks of himself and himself only. This vaguely portrays the selfish side of him. ...read more.


In a video of the play shown at a popular theatre in London, her acting shows that she speaks of the lower class with disgust. She has the least respect for the Inspector of all the characters. She tries - unsuccessfully - to intimidate him and force him to leave, then lies to him when she claims that she does not recognise the photograph that he shows her. She it too very perceptive, however the inspector is too persuasive for her and she gives up, by telling him that she does recognise the picture. Mrs.Birling stupidly sees Sheila and Eric still as "children" and speaks patronisingly to them. She ignores Sheila's views on Eva's death and even suggests that she should go to bed, no matter how hard she tries to outline her views to her family and inspector Goole. She tries to deny things that she doesn't want to believe: Eric's drinking, Gerald's affair with Eva, and the fact that a working class girl would refuse money even if it was stolen, claiming "She was giving herself ridiculous airs." She admits she was "prejudiced" against the girl who applied to her committee for help and saw it as her "duty" to refuse to help her. Her narrow sense of morality dictates that the father of a child should be responsible for its welfare, regardless of circumstances. At the end of the play, she has had to come to terms that her son is a heavy drinker who got a girl pregnant ...read more.


that he is a hardened drinker. Gerald admits, "I have gathered that he does drink pretty hard. When he hears how his father sacked Eva, he supports the worker's cause, like Sheila. "Why shouldn't they try for higher wages?" Eric too is starting to feel like Eva and is feeling sorry for the working class. However, he is not so affected He feels guilt and frustration with himself over his relationship with the girl. He cries, "Oh - my God! - how stupid it all is! as he tells his story. He is horrified that his thoughtless actions had such consequences. He had some innate sense of responsibility, though, because although he got a woman pregnant, he was concerned enough to give her money. He was obviously less worried about stealing (or 'borrowing' from his father's office) than he was about the girl's future. So, was Eric, initially, the most socially aware member of the Birling family? He is appalled by his parents' inability to admit their own responsibility. He tells them forcefully, "I'm ashamed of you. When Birling tries to threaten him in Act III, Eric is aggressive in return: "I don't give a damn now. Do you think Eric has ever stood up to his father in this way before? At the end of the play, like Sheila, he is fully aware of his social responsibility. He is not interested in his parents' efforts to cover everything up: as far as he is concerned, the important thing is that a girl is dead. "We did her in all right. ...read more.

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