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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.

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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.


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.


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.

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