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Inspector Calls

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Introduction

How is the deep rift between Eric and his parents shown in the play? (focus on phase VI p50-56 primarily - pay particular attention to what he says to them) Throughout the play we can see a number of differences between Eric and Sheila and their parents. In this essay we will be focusing on Eric's relationship with his parents. Before studying the rest of the play we must first study the first 6 pages of Act III where there are many examples of the deep rift between Eric and his parents. Mrs Birling says " Besides, you're not the type - you don't get drunk," but Eric is in fact often drunk as shown in the stage directions on the next page when it says "His whole manner of handling the decanter and then the drink shows his familiarity with quick heavy drinking." Mrs Birling does not know the habits of her own son even though they live under the same roof. ...read more.

Middle

Eric intended to pay the money that he had taken from his fathers' office back yet his father believes it is definitely stolen as it was taken without permission. Sometimes the interpretation of what is right and what is wrong is very different. Although Eric is in the wrong he is ultimately trying to do the right thing; something that his father does not understand. One of the main lines on page 54 is when Birling says "You damned fool - why didn't you come to me when you found yourself in this mess?" Eric's response is very revealing. He replied "because you're not the kind of father a chap could go to when he's in trouble - that's why." This again shows the deep rift between father and son because Eric is unable to even approach his father when in need of help. Birling is blind to the fact that maybe this awful gap between Eric and him may be all his fault. ...read more.

Conclusion

Birling has exactly the opposite view. Looking at the beginning of the play when hearing how Birling sacked Eva, Eric supports the workers and says "Why shouldn't they try for higher wages?" Eric believes that the workers deserved to be given what little they had asked for however, in Birling's opinion if he had granted them their request he believed they would then start asking for the world and he could not have that. Eric obviously believes differently. When telling his story about Eva and how he got her pregnant Eric accepts full responsibility for his actions and is horrified at the consequences yet his parents try to shift the blame to someone else, especially his mother. In conclusion there is definitely a deep rift between Eric and his parents. They have different opinions especially on what is right and wrong, they accept different amounts of responsibility and most of all Eric's parents are unable to understand their sons' physical and mental needs. They have no idea how to treat their son and this is seen clearly throughout the play. ...read more.

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