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The Inspector makes more of an impression on the younger characters than the older ones. Show two contrasting characters

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The Inspector makes more of an impression on the younger characters than the older ones. Show two contrasting characters From reading the play 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B.Priestley, I have come to believe that the inspector makes a greater impression on the younger characters than he does on the older characters. This can be shown by looking at the two characters Sheila Birling and her mother Sybil Birling. Mrs Sybil Birling is the mother of the Birling family. She is born of an upper-class family and is her husbands (Arthur's) social superior. In the period in which this play is written social status was very important, if you were upper class you would have everything you need where as if you were lower class you would probably be struggling to stay alive, especially if you had no job. It would have been strange for the time that the play was written that the mother of the family was the superior because in 1912 men were still the dominant sex. Mrs Birling has one daughter called Sheila and a younger son called Eric. Sheila is engaged to Gerald Croft who is the son of Lord Croft a very wealthy businessman and Lady Croft. You can tell that Gerald is of upper class as his mother and father are Lord and Lady and that title would not have been given to them unless they were very wealthy and had a lot of power. ...read more.


When she re-enters the room the Inspector questions her about her involvement with Eva. Sheila answers all the Inspectors questions without seemingly trying to hide anything, she is frank with the answers and does not seem to be prepared to be loyal to her family if it is seen as lying or false. She may have done this because she believed that the Inspector was very resourceful and would get the information out of her one way or another so why try to deny that she knew Eva. Sheila is very courteous and polite to the Inspector, this may be because she was brought up to be polite to strangers. Sheila is not annoyed that the Inspector is questioning the family in the way that Mr Birling is, she may feel that the Inspector is not to blame and he is just doing his job. The Inspector had managed to gain so much of Sheila's trust that she too believed the family should be interviewed to help solve the mystery of Eva's death although at this point in the play I doubt Sheila would think that Gerald had ant thing to do with it. This can be seen when Mrs Birling is being questioned. The Inspector is finding it hard to get information out of Mrs Birling, this can be shown with the quotes taken from page 41, just after the Inspector has shown Mrs Birling a photograph of Eva. (Inspector)"You recognise her?" (Mrs Birling)"No. Why should I?" ...read more.


By trying to outwit the Inspector and keep an air of dignity Mrs Birling make it worse for herself. She believes that the Inspector should question the father of Eva's baby and he should be named and shamed. When Mrs Birling finds out that her son Eric was an alcoholic and that it was him that got Eva pregnant she wont let her self believe it. "Eric, I can't believe it. There must be some mistake. You don't know what we've bee saying." Sybil is ashamed of Eric and almost blames it on the Inspector for uncovering so much scandalising information. When the Inspector has left and they know that he was a hoax, Mrs Birling as well as Mr Birling want to forget about everything the family said while the Inspector was there. Mr Birling wants to forget he even existed, that is if he did ever exist, this shows the inspector didn't make much of an impression on him or on Mrs Birling. By looking back and reviewing the play I have found that my first statement was correct. I found that the Inspector had a bigger impression on the younger character, Sheila a great deal more than he did with Sybil, the older character. Sheila was much more influenced by the Inspectors presence, she was much more willing to accept responsibility for playing a part in Eva's death. Where as Mrs Birling was much more willing to forget everything the Inspector had told her and her family rather than observing the fact that she helped to drive Eva/Daisy to committing suicide. ...read more.

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