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To What Extent Can The Audience Feel Sympathy With The Birlings?

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To What Extent Can The Audience Feel Sympathy With The Birlings? An Inspector Calls was written by J.B. Priestly and was set in 1912, but it was not actually performed until thirty-four years later. The affect this had on the play was great, because in that time there were two world wars, the depression and the rise of Socialism. It shows capitalists to be uncaring and self interested with making money. When the play was performed, it was done so at a time of high morale, where people lived in a community where everyone wanted to look after each other making sure everyone had a good life. By the time the play was performed, the audience were able to sympathise with his socialist views. In 1912 England was a Capitalist country, and Priestly wanted to show how he thought that this was not the way, in which England should be run. The system had a lack of equality, and the rich were rich and the poor were poor. Priestly thought that by writing this play, he could help make people realise this needed to change. ...read more.


Her role in Eva Smith's death was turning Eva down when she went to the charitable committee for help. She also makes it clear that she does not really care about her death, and if anything she blames the girl herself "girls of that class" meaning that she thinks she's worthless in this world and that she's a waste of space. She's also very disingenuous; we know this because she says, "Though naturally I don't know anything about this girl". She clearly does though, by her denial to accept playing a part in her death and the siding up to her husband the audience also find it hard to feel sympathy towards her. Sheila there daughter s "a very pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited" with her engagement to Gerald. She begins the play as playful, self-centred, and liking attention, although as the play goes on, she starts to feel sorry for Eva. Shelia's role in the death was getting Eva sacked from Milwards. ...read more.


Eric was not in a good frame of mind, when he was told this, and the audience can understand the emotions that a young man like him would have had. Plus it is not like he didn't try to do something as Eric tries to offer money to Eva that he stole from the office. Eric lets us know that by saying "I got it from the office", but he said, "I intended to pay it back". But Eva refused to take it. So the audience can feel a little sorry for Eric, because unlike his father and mother, he did make an effort to help her. On overall the audience are able to feel some sympathy towards Sheila and Eric. The reason for this is that they feel bad for what has happened where as Mr and Mrs Birling shows no sign of remorse what so ever. Sheila and Eric show that they both want to change and have realised that society can not go on living how their parents do. Because of their guilt and realisation of their actions, the audience are able to forgive and sympathise with them as they were young and new no better than how they grew up. ...read more.

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