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It can be said that the younger generation have a tendency to show remorse unlike the older generation

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An Inspector Calls J.B. Priestly wrote an Inspector Calls at a period when things could only get better. The purpose of the play was to wake up the middle and upper classes from their complacency in order for this improvement in life to happen. Each character in the Birling's family represents a different attitude towards equal society and responsibility. The older generation Sybil Birling and Arthur Birling are bold representatives of irresponsibility and social prejudice. Although these are typical examples of the upper class nature, they should not be so for Mr Birling. He had worked his way up the social ladder, from once being a member of the working class, so one would expect him to have sympathy for the class he once lived amongst. However Mr Birling shows none whatsoever and even exploits his workers. On top of this Mr Birling is pompous and thinks he knows all just because he has high status. Of course he does not know all, and can be seen as idiotic due to his certain claims about the Titanic, war and strikes, which all of course were wrong, showing an example of dramatic irony. ...read more.


She is in fact delighted by being the 'only one who didn't give in to him.' She has great social prejudice 'girls of that class' and 'as if girls of that sort would ever refuse money'. The word 'that' implies that to Mrs Birling the working class are absolutely nothing; they are a waste of space and can only be good for work in her husband's factories. This is very hypocritical as Mr Birling was a working class member of society in his young age. The second quote also suggests that working class people have no morals when really it is quite the opposite. Mrs Birling avoids the term responsibility and considers it more of a duty and this is shown with the father of Eva's baby who she later finds out to be Eric. The Inspector is very persistent and firm with her for she finds it very unnecessary for her to give any information she knows about Eva. Her attitude is whatever happened, I am not in the wrong so why question me? Sheila is a younger relative of the Birling family. ...read more.


The Inspector as with Sheila, is more lenient with Eric as he has got Eric to do what he went there for. Gerald is a man who has been brought up amongst the upper class all his life. However he freely explains his affair with Eva Smith and is not reluctant to tell the Inspector anything. It therefore seems that Gerald has accepted his responsibilities. In this way Gerald seems to escape the accusing finger of the Inspector and is even allowed to leave the Birling household during the Inspectors stay. However we later see that Gerald has in fact fooled the Inspector and the audience as he is very willing to prove the whole incident a fake and totally forget about its outcomes, especially his admittance. Looking at the evidence above it can be said that the younger generation have a tendency to show remorse unlike the older generation. As the Inspector said 'We often do on the younger ones. They're more impressionable.' It can also show that the irresponsible actions of one person can add to another persons and another persons until there is a chain of events which create a big enough reason for something very serious to happen. Everyone contributes to these serious things it is never just an individuals fault. ...read more.

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