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What do Mr Birling and Sheila show us about the historical context of “An Inspector Calls?”

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AN INSPECTOR CALLS What do Mr Birling and Sheila show us about the historical context of "An Inspector Calls?" 'An Inspector Calls' is a play written by a man called Priestley in the 1940's. The play is set in 1912 The play is about a middle to upper-class family, the Birlings, who lived in a town called Brumley. Its is based on a girl, Eva, who had commit suicide by drinking disinfectant. An Inspector who goes by the name of "Inspector Goole" had come to the Birlings house to investigate why Eva had committed suicide. It turns out that none of the members of the Birling family had committed a real crime but they had all driven her to suicide in some way. The moral of the play is to judge their consciences and there by our consciences to make us work together as "members of one body." Two characters represent the historical context are Mr Birling and Sheila. At the end of the play they show opposite poles of society. Mr Birling represents the older generation that has held on to values of years and years back. ...read more.


This shows that he is very worried about his reputation because if he does something wrong then he'll lose his chance of a knighthood. Mr Birling doesn't believe in the inspectors quote, "we are all members of one body." He thinks that we should just fight our own battles and not look after or help others. When talking to Gerald and Eric, Mr Birling says, " but the way some of these cranks talk and write now, you'd think everybody has to look after everybody else, as if we were all mixed up together like bees in a hive - community and all that nonsense." And, " I can't accept any responsibility. If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we'd had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn't it? Mr Birling aims to make as much money as possible to enable him to live his upper class life. When discussing business with Gerald, his daughter's fianc�, Mr Birling says "lower costs, higher prices." Mr Birling wants the highest prices for the goods produced in his factory but is determined to pay the lowest wages to the lower class that work for him. ...read more.


If the right power of the upper class were added to the working class then society really would change for the better. The house finally collapses due to the crimes that the family has committed. When the house goes back up again it doesn't return to that nice, warm, jolly house like it was. Instead it is in shambles. There is broken crockery and glass everywhere. This represents their new lives. They can never 'repair' their lives properly after what happened, like I could never repair a broken plate after being dropped. At the side of the stage there was a telephone box, just outside the Birlings house. This is to show the 'outside' world. At the end the older generation, for example Mr Birling, go inside. This is to show that they won't change and no matter what has happened they still want to be known as the higher class. From the essay I have concluded that Sheila represents the younger generation of the time and the future of society. Her purpose in the play was to show the audience the change in society between 1912 and the 1940's. Mr Birling represents the older generation of the time and his purpose was to show us what pre-1912 upper-class family was like. Between them they show a change in society. By David Lorenzo ...read more.

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