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Inspector Calls.

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Inspector Calls Assignment In this essay I will be discussing the characters Sheila and Arthur Birling, and discovering how they are affected by the Inspectors visit. The whole play is about themes such as class and the consequences of people aswell as their responsibilities. The play was written in the 1940s yet set in 1912, just before the sinking of the Titanic and the declaration of war. The scene begins with the Birling family and Gerald Croft sat around the table. Arthur Birling, the head of the family is sat at one end of the table. This shows that he is the dominant one of the family and the ruler of the household. He is a successful and prosperous man who is a manufacturer and does well in business. Priestly describes him as being well built and rather pompous and solemn. From his speech you can tell he did not originate from the same class as Mrs Birling: "...rather provincial in his speech." By marrying Mrs Birling, he was able to move up a class and he continues to also want to become more upper class. He sees the marriage of Gerald to his daughter as a means of further social climbing and also as a means of bringing his business and the Crofts closer together: "...perhaps we may look forward to a time when Birlings and Crofts are no longer competing but are working together..." ...read more.


When the Inspector enters, the stage lighting suddenly changes from a pink colour to a very bright blinding light: "The lighting should be dim pink and intimate until the Inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder." The pink lighting represents the fact that there are plenty of hidden truths around the table, where Gerald and the Birling family really don't know anything about each other. As the Inspector enters, the lighting suddenly becomes more revealing, to display the fact that he is about to uncover the truths about each of them. We discover that Birling sacks a girl from his work place and the Inspector informs the family that this girl committed suicide. Birling dismisses her from his work place as: "She'd had a lot to say..." However, I believe it was because a woman had actually answered back to him and in those days men were considered as more dominant and far more worthy than women. I believe Birling was angry as, possibly, the girl slightly embarrassed him. Even still, Birling doesn't accept any responsibility at this point in the play. Yet, when finding out about his son's involvement with the girl, he finally seems to accept some guilt. Eric, Birlings son, is found to have got the girl pregnant. The Inspector slightly threatens Mr Birling and finally, Birling seems to accept some guilt: "Inspector- 'You started it...You made her pay a heavy price...And now she'll make you pay a heavier price still.' ...read more.


Even from finding out she was slightly involved with the inspection though, Sheila starts to show some guilt, and, unlike her father, accepts it: "...if I could help her now, I would." During just one night, Sheila changes entirely. She matures a great deal and seems to become independent. She even seems to gain more confidence and stands up to her family. "Sheila (flaring up) - 'If you want to know, it's you two being childish.'" Throughout the whole inspection it is Sheila who insists on knowing everything. In a way, I believe that in stepping into a more realistic world, rather than one where she is protected by her parents, she learns to grow up a lot and even seems far more mature than her parents. Now it becomes unclear whether or not she will marry Gerald, as she seems to want to learn to rely on herself a lot more. Overall, the play was written by Priestly to teach us a very important lesson - that we should all be concerned for one another and that, even the slightest things we do may affect someone somewhere. Our biggest relevance to this message is the incident on September 11th, where hundreds of people were killed and America was disrupted hugely. The Afghans were angry at America's greediness and felt America was not doing anything to help them. As a result, lots of innocent people died and many families were destroyed. This just shows that, throughout the play, Birlings views are selfish and self-centred. ...read more.

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