• 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)

    Eva Smith or know information about her but no one is eager to talk about it. The gesture of exchanging bewildered and perturbed glances, was when the inspector admitted that he wasn't there only to see Mr. Birling and that's when they all started to doubt of each other and when the uncertainty increased.

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

    Only letting one-person look gives the impression that the Inspector is a shrewd character. Another way tension is added is by the incisive phrases used by the Inspector such as "No sir I can't agree with you there" and "It's my duty to ask questions" also "I don't see much of him" (Colonel Roberts)

  1. Inspector Calls-How Sheila Birling Changes And Develops Through The Play

    '...if I could help her now, I would.' This shows us that Sheila knows what she has done wrong and takes responsibility for her actions, she is becoming more independent and mature. This also shows she does regret her actions.

  2. Eva Smiths Diary Entries - English Coursework

    My heart was fluttering madly, I can tell you. I've never felt so thrilled! He came over to me afterwards, and took my hand gently. "Are you all right, Madam?" he asked, polite as you can be. Well, I didn't know what to say, so I just nodded.

  1. An Inspector Calls Diary entries

    Diary entry 2 Slowly I am losing the will to live. Today I was sacked from the one steady job I've had in two months. I was a sales assistant at Milwards, but I was sacked because I gave a mere smile to my co-worker.

  2. How is Mr Birling Presented in Act 1?

    Another example of him being shown to be optimistic is him thinking there will be no war at all evidence of this is when Mr Birling states that ?The Germans don?t want war? and ?In a year or two well have aeroplanes that will be able to go anywhere?.

  1. Eric and Mr Birling comparison

    best nights of my life? but later it is revealed he only cares about how the merging of the two business because it will result in ?lower costs and higher prices? which shows how his world revolves around money. Priestley has done this to show lurking under his good intentions

  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