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What are the main themes introduced in Act One and how does Priestley put them across?

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Introduction

What are the main themes introduced in Act One and how does Priestley put them across? One of the main themes put across in the book is the social responsibility. Mr Birling states the fact that if he 'was responsible for everything that happened to everybody he had anything to do with it would be very awkward indeed.' This shows that he is a man who is very ignorant and selfish. He cares about no one except himself and his family and will trample on anyone to get to the top and make a profit from his work. He sacked Eva Smith because she wanted 3 shillings more a week. ...read more.

Middle

Another theme in the first act is the sense of time passing by and how shortsighted they really are about the future. When they are eating their dinner they are talking about the wedding and the union of two rival companies. During this meal the time seems to pass very slowly because of the way they are eating and the long speeches. They all talk about the war and how it will never start because the German Kaiser makes a speech or two, or a few German Officers have too much to drink and begin to talk nonsense, and that they'll hear war is inevitable. This shows how faithful Birling is in his own opinions and how much he thinks he knows everything. ...read more.

Conclusion

You'll have to get used to it, just as I did.' This shows that women are pushed sideways when men are doing business. This sort of shows that men are more important, and then when Mrs Birling and Sheila have to leave to the drawing room, whilst the men talk business and have a cigar and a drink or two. This shows again that women have to move over for the men when they need to do things, and men are always the people who run the businesses and earn the money to put the dinner on the table, whereas the women stay at home or go to their clubs and help the poorer in society. Adam Cooke 10W ...read more.

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