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What does An Inspector Calls tell us about the class system and attitudes towards woman at the begging of the twentieth century?

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Introduction

What does An Inspector Calls tell us about the class system and attitudes towards woman at the begging of the twentieth century? The play "An Inspector Calls" is set just before World War One at the beginning of the twentieth century and tells us about the class hierarchy and attitudes towards women at the time. The Inspector starts his enquires with Mr. Birling, who is a prosperous business manufacturer. He is not from the same social class as his wife, Sybil. He is confident but betrays his lack of social graces, we see this when his wife corrects him, "Arthur, you're not supposed to say such things" We can also see that Mr. Birling is aware of business advantages from the union of the two families. Mr. Birling's business aspirations come into the open when he tells Gerald about his knighthood, "there's a fair chance that I might find my way into the next Honour's List. Just a knighthood, of course." ...read more.

Middle

Obviously her mother's account was worth a lot more to the company than one working class girl. She did this out of jealousy, embarrassment and vanity, which we later go on to see is similar to her mother. Afterwards though she feels upset and guilty. This once again shows that the attitudes towards women especially in the lower class were poor ones. Next the Inspector questioned Gerald, Sheila's fianc�. He had an affair with Eva, but she had changed her name so he knew her as Daisy Renton. His affair with her gave him sex and a sense of being a hero. This affair is not criticised by Sheila's parents though as in that time this was a thing that higher-class men would often do. He is embarrassed, defensive and looks for ways out of feeling guilty. Gerald suggests, "young women ought to be protected against unpleasant and disturbing things" which is quiet ironic considering he cheated on Sheila and used Daisy as a prostitute. ...read more.

Conclusion

He got her pregnant and although he did try to help her afterwards by giving her money other than that he made no real effort to help her. This once again shows how being a lower class woman in this era was just about as low as you could get in the class hierarchy. Afterwards he does realise though what he did was irresponsible and he does feel guilty for it. Like Sheila he also wishes that the others would take responsibility for their parts leading up to the death of Daisy. In conclusion we can see that An Inspector calls tells us a lot about the class hierarchy and attitudes towards women in the begging of the twentieth century. We see that women were treated very badly by men and sometimes even by other women who were in higher classes to themselves. We also see how the higher up you were in the class system the easier it was for you and the easier it was for you to get your own way in matters. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kirsty Morgan 1 ...read more.

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