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

The Inspector Says "We're all responsible for each other". Mr Birling Says "A man has to make his own way"Show How Priestly Develops the Theme of Responsibility Through the Characters In The Play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Inspector Says "We're all responsible for each other". Mr Birling Says "A man has to make his own way" Show How Priestly Develops the Theme of Responsibility Through the Characters In The Play. "A very good time - and soon it'll be an even better time." - the ironic words of Mr Birling in J.B. Priestley's classic 1944 play; 'An Inspector Calls'. He utters these words minutes before inspector Goole shatters the tranquil, pleasant mood. This play is based on responsibility, and how many lack this important quality. It all began one evening; the Birlings were having a celebration of Gerald's engagement to their daughter, Sheila. When the ladies have left the room Mr Birling gives a little speech to his son, Eric, and Gerald. He is interrupted by the doorbell. It is Inspector Goole who brings news of a girl's suicide. This girl is Eva Smith. One by one the family are made to admit how they knew or were involved with this girl, and the Inspector manages to shift at least a little bit of blame onto them all. I believe to clearly understand the other characters I must first examine the inspector - as he truly tests them. ...read more.

Middle

This appears to be Sheila's first very regrettable move though, as she is very shocked and cries a lot. Overall I think it was a childish thing to do and Sheila will be much more vigilant and always think before acting so immaturely again. Gerald is the son of the owner of Croft's Limited, Mr Birling's rival company. It is a friendly rivalry and even in the celebration Mr Birling has to mention business, hinting towards a deal to join the two companies. Mr Birling seems to think Gerald's mother is not very pleased with the selection of wife he has chosen or: "could have done better for yourself socially" as he puts it. Gerald appears to be embarrassed though at this point, and it looks as if he loves Sheila for who she is not her background, or family. That is until the inspector mentions Eva's second name - Daisy Renton. He is startled and exclaims "What?" as her name is first mentioned. It is apparent from here on that Gerald is not the dedicated husband-to-be. He had an affair with this Daisy Renton and is forced to admit it under the pressure of the Birling's and his fianc�e. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eric is not his father's best friend. Mr Birling constantly criticises him and tells him to shut up, or to "keep out of it". But Eric has his own way of fighting back. He describes about Mr Birling as "not being the kind of father a chap can go to when he's in trouble", and from the image Priestley gives us, it appears as if he is right. Eric becomes very distressed when told his mother turned his former lover away, and didn't help her. He becomes quite angry, "you killed her!" he keeps repeating; much to his mother's anguish. He then becomes almost violent towards his mother, and is sharply told to "get back - or I'll-" by Mr Birling. Eric didn't really keep Eva as Gerald did. He exploited her. To some up the way Priestly expresses responsibility through the characters I believe he uses lack of the aforementioned quality. The ideal rich, well known family has been reduced to a fighting, squabbling and ashamed household. I believe the main message of the play lies deep down. The only innocent characters are the Inspector and the servant - Edna. This gives us the impression that above all money is not the key to happiness; and power can lead to shame. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...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

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

    When the Birling family all learn that the Inspector wasn't really an Inspector Sheila and Eric's response is in utter contrast to the rest of the family. Gerald Croft immediately assumes he can have Sheila back and asks her to be with him, Sheila simply replies 'no not yet, it's too soon I must think'.

  2. The main theme of 'an inspector calls' is responsibility. Choose one scene from the ...

    Priestly follows all of the three unities. Unity of place- Priestly based his play in one scene. Unity of time- Priestly kept the play the same length of time as the okay takes to act. Unity of Action- Priestly made his play based on one storyline, no sub-plots.

  1. 1st draft How does J B Priestly use the characters in Act Three of ...

    She has the seat on the charity council, not because she wants to help the poor, but because she wants to feel superior to the lower classes. The effect of the repetition of the Inspector saying "you can't" in his speech is to make them think about all the things

  2. The main theme of this play was "RESPONSIBILTY" this is because John Boynton Priestly ...

    Mr Birling started the depressing life for Eva Smith. Sheila's fault is she had been jealous of Eva Smith because she looked better in a specific hat. She went to the manager and told him that Eva Smith had been very disrespectful and rude, so indirectly she made Eva lose her job.

  1. Explain how Priestly manages to create a very vivid picture of the character of ...

    Eric appears to be quite humorous, "Suddenly I felt I just had to laugh", but Sheila thinks he's drunk, "You're squiffy." This shows he's young and irresponsible, he also jokes about Sheila, "She's got a nasty temper sometimes - but she's not bad really."

  2. About the characters

    He behaves half shy and half assertive (amassed). End: starts thinking, accepts his guilt, might stop drinking that much. Gerald Croft Is good-looking, rich& clever: man about town! He's engaged to Sheila and also son of an industrial. He doesn't change lot during the story; stays a capitalist (just interested in money& profit).

  1. "Each of you helped to kill her." Says the Inspector. Show exactly what part ...

    and whose only aim in life is to climb the social ladder; he only cares about himself and to a lesser extent his family. His views on the workers in his factory, and perhaps the working class as a whole, are exposed when he refers to them as "labour costs"

  2. From the way Priestly presents the characters, who do you think is most to ...

    it was his "duty to keep labour costs down" and so he told them to find work elsewhere. Birling is very stubborn in his views. He thinks he is always right and doesn't really listen to people unless they are agreeing with him.

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