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Inspector Goole and Mr Birling have perhaps the most noticeably opposing views and philosophies of any two characters in the play.

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Introduction

Inspector Goole and Mr Birling have perhaps the most noticeably opposing views and philosophies of any two characters in the play. Priestley displays this through the ongoing conflict between the pair, and notably in their vastly contrasting speeches delivered separately in the play. In addition to the subtle details of their opposing views, this conflict successfully shows the contrasting philosophies of Birling and the Inspector. As soon as they meet, Birling attempts to show his social superiority to the Inspector, boasting about his contacts in the police force. This highlights how social standing is very important to Birling and so, he assumes, is equally as important to everyone else. ...read more.

Middle

This can, of course, be viewed in the wider context of the novel, and the Inspector?s views of social responsibility. Both Birling and Inspector Goole make speeches within the play, showing their philosophies on this matter of social responsibility. Birling insists at the beginning of the play that ?a man has to...look after himself and his own?. This view is further evidenced by his reaction towards the workers who initiated the strike at his works. Contrastingly, the Inspector?s later speech is one of a moral, socialistic view that ?we are responsible for one another?. Since both of these speeches are the longest, most narrative pieces of text in the play, it makes the contrast so much more evident. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is shown to contrast with the Inspector, who throughout the play probes the characters ? and audience- into believing that we are all ?Intertwined?. Throughout the play, the Inspector and Birling are displayed as opposites in looks, mannerisms, but most of all philosophies. The way that Priestley achieves this goes further than just their speeches and direct actions. By portraying the character of the Inspector as morally ?right?, and the character of Birling as a ?fool? in general terms, it follows that their views and philosophies will contrast also. By having Sheila and Eric side with the philosophy of the Inspector, this is shown as the philosophy for the future. Birling, on the other hand, is shown to be out-dated and stupid, so that the Inspector?s socialist views ultimately triumph in the play. ...read more.

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