• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Mr Birling Act 1

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Arthur Birling In "An Inspector Calls" by J.B Priestly, Arthur Birling, husband of Sybil Birling and father to Eric and Sheila Birling, is a successful business man. At around 50 years old, he represents the capitalist ruling class and the head of a patriarchal family structure that J.B Priestly is so critical of in the play. At the very beginning of the play, in the stage directions, he is described as a, "heavy looking portentous man". It's almost as if Arthur is "heavily" set in his ways, that there will be no changing who he is and that his case is a hopeless one. He is said to be, "portentous", showing his pompous nature and attitude of pride. This is shown when he refers to himself and Gerald as, "we hard-headed practical men of business". He is concerned with his social standing and is, as the modern audience would call him, a snob. ...read more.

Middle

Mr Birling is a perfect example of what Priestly was trying to show us, how people get so obsessed with class that they lose sight of one another. He does this a number of times throughout act 1, "Still, I can't accept any responsibility". He is constantly name dropping, "How do get on with Chief Constable?" Birling wants to remind the Inspector that he has connections, to patronise him with his high social standing. Mr Birling's patronising tone is shown again when he scolds the Inspector, "I don't like that tone". He sounds more like a condescending father, than a man being interrogated. He reacts defensively to a potential insult. "Here, I'm not a purple faced old man!" He sees himself highly, and refuses to acknowledge what he may be. He even sees himself as good company, "It's a pity Sir George and, er, Lady Croft can't be with us". ...read more.

Conclusion

He only ever speaks of himself, and how things might affect him. This shows his self obsessed nature, he is egotistical and business obsessed. He is impatient and irritable, "(after a pause, with a touch of impatience)". In fact, as the play goes on, Birling gets more and more angry with the inspector. This hints at his guilt, as when the Inspector informs him that he is investigating everyone, Birling relaxes and apologises, "(with marked change of tone)". He jumps to the conclusion that Eva had been fired from Milwards because of poor work, "Not doing her work properly?" Little does he know that in fact, it was his daughter's fault she was fired. He seems to believe that all lower class people working in upper class businesses must in fact be bad workers. This stereotyping shows how the upper classes saw workers in those days. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay amounts to not much more than a set of notes - brief observations of Mr Birling are each supported by a suitable quotation and a short comment. There is little discernible structure and no development. There are also no overall conclusions drawn. As such, the observations are quite acute and the quotations used provide good support. The material could be used to provide the basis of a good essay.

Paragraph structure has little logic but sentence construction is mostly well controlled and grammatical, using a good range of lexis.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Jeff Taylor 01/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Questions and Answers on "An Inspector Calls"

    3 star(s)

    How does each of Eric, Gerald and the Inspector react to Sheila's story? When Sheila tells her story, Eric and Gerald are surprised and amazed because of what she has done knowing the consequence of her behavior. Gerald tries to understand why his girlfriend reacted that way.

  2. An Inspector Calls - The mood in Act 1 of the play undergoes a ...

    When Mr Birling feels threatened by the Inspector he just reminds the inspector how he has associates in high places so he feels he is absolved from the blame.

  1. Dramatic effects are things which happen on stage and which grab our/the audience's attention. ...

    Also, the bits where Mr. Birling gets something wrong - especially in his first conversation with Eric and Gerald, where he talks about the Titanic being unsinkable etc. * the action - there can be little as dramatic, however reported it may be, of a girl committing suicide by burning her insides out by drinking a bottle of disinfectant.

  2. In what Way Does Priestly Present The Conflict Between The Classes In This Play?

    Alcohol is already starting to cause some tension and conflict between these two characters. Priestly has used the theme of alcohol as a source of conflict to show some characters true behavior. The classes represented throughout the play is varied from characters like Edna the maid and prosperous factory owners

  1. J.B.Priestly - The Birling family.

    Eric has a drink problem, as Sheila says, he gets a bit "squiffy" (drunk), and Mr Birling is a slave driver who doesn't care about workers rights and is only interested in taking care of number one (himself). Even before we find out about the crimes that the Birling family

  2. Responsibility and Guilt in An Inspector Calls

    Arthur Birling is aware of this problem. He wants Gerald to tell his parents that he might be getting a knighthood he does this because he is trying to impress them. * Gerald was away in the summer and he didn't see Sheila at all for a whole month.

  1. How does Priestley create tension in the play through characterisation, structure and atmosphere?

    The inspector carries on with his hard hitting questions and answers. After more discussion on all parties, Sheila enters in on the conversation and Mr Birling tells her hat they will be along in to the drawing room in a minute, at that point the inspector interrupts saying they will

  2. How does Priestly portray Mr Birling in Act 1?

    Gerald makes a few speeches throughout act one, during one of them he says, "Gerald...your engagement with Sheila means a tremendous lot to me...Crofts and Birling are no longer competing but are working together - for lower costs and higher prices."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work