• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What is the importance of Mr. Arthur Birling as a character in the play in the play An Inspector Calls?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Inspector Calls Act 1 1. When is the play set? In 1912. 1. Who is a ?heavy-looking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties?? Arthur Birling. 1. Who is ?not quite at ease, half-shy, half-assertive?? Eric Birling. 1. Who is ?very pleased with life?? Sheila Birling. 1. Who is ?very much the easy well-bred young man-about-town?? Gerald Croft. Act 2 1. What does Sheila give to Gerald before he leaves? Her engagement ring. 1. Who says this and to whom? ?I feel you?re beginning all wrong?. Sheila says this to Mrs Birling. 1. Who says this and to whom? ?I never take offence?. Inspector says this to Mrs Birling. 1. Who condemns whom here? ?I think it was cruel and vile?. Sheila condemns her mother Mrs Birling here. 1. In what 3 ways does Gerald described Daisy when he first meets her that made her look ?totally out of place? at the Palace Bar? Young and fresh and charming. Act 3 1. What is the mood in the dining room at the start of this act and why? The mood is to be light, playful and happy. ...read more.

Middle

The deliberate way that JB Priestley makes Mr Birling reel out mistake after mistake is building an idea of an arrogant, middle class man who could easily represent a lot of the society that Priestley was living in at the time. A normal detective story can often build up a character showing him/her to be arrogant and pompous like Mr Birling, but it is the specific incidents that he mentions that is the first indicator that this play is more than a petty mystery. Birling proudly boasts that his friend will travel on the "absolutely unsinkable" Titanic, that he knows for a fact that "there isn't a chance of war" and that in the near future there will be "peace and prosperity ... everywhere." Of course Mr Birling could not have been more wrong, within two years after his futuristic speech the most devastating war ever broke out affecting the whole world and the indestructible Titanic sank to its death in the Atlantic along with the majority of its passengers. Of course, as the play was written and shown in 1945 all of this would be clear to the audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

He mentions to Gerald how he can see that Lady Croft thinks he can do better, and is anxious to impress with the mention of a knighthood. He also seems to be trying to show himself as upper class in the fact that he even buys the same port as Sir George Croft. The first part of act one and the happiness of Mr Birling is concluded with his speech to Gerald and Eric, ?a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own?. The happy atmosphere of the beginning of the play comes to an abrupt stop with the arrival of the inspector. Mr Birling sees nothing special about this visit at first, and expects the inspector to behave according to the rules of his own society. He tries to win the inspector to his side in this way by offering him port and trying to intimidate him with talk of having been a mayor, playing golf with the Chief constable and introducing Gerald as of Crofts Limited. The fact that Mr Birling lives in this world of business and upper class rules mean that he soon begins to dislike the inspector when he refuses to abide, or even care for these rules. By Zarin Tasneem 9x3 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Write a letter from the director to the actor playing a character you have ...

    A clue in the play to back this up would be when the Inspector arrives and distinguishes clearly between the spelling of his name compared to the spelling of 'Ghoul', he does this by saying 'Inspector Goole. G-O-O-L-E' this is a clear hint that he doesn't want the Birling family

  2. "An Inspector Calls" - issues raised in the play concerning the social structure ...

    We are told that the merchant informed Mr. Birling of this similarity but it is obvious he asked which port Gerald's father bought and has used this to impress Gerald, this may be a way in which Mr. Birling is trying to 'climb the social ladder' to one on a par with the Croft family and his wife.

  1. Closely examine the character of Mr Arthur Birling and his daughter Sheila Birling showing ...

    he suggests that to get anywhere in life, people should care about themselves only and not care about others. In opposite to this, socialists say that life only goes on with people helping each other. This shows that Birling has very selfish motives.

  2. How does Sheila's character develop during the course of the play?

    Sheila listens to what her father says about Eva Smith and she does not agree with his attitude towards the girl "But these girls aren't cheap labour- they're people," as she starts to compare herself with Eva Smith, even imagining herself as being Eva Smith and going through all the events that happened to her.

  1. Discuss the Importance of the Inspector 'Goole' in this play:

    This shows the Birlings are thinking they are untouchable, too classy and too Important for anyone else in their time. Then shortly after his speech, the titanic sank. This shows things that are said to be 'classy' and 'expensive' don't always turn out to be reliable and secure.

  2. Imagine you have been asked to direct J.B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls". What Instructions ...

    Mr Birling is not a man who is used to being insulted, so when Shelia calls him a "purple faced old man" he is very defensive; "Here, I'm not a purple faced old man." This shows that Mr Birling takes every thing serious, as the director I would want this

  1. ''An Inspector Calls' has been described as a play of social criticism - What ...

    Mrs. Birling says, "I don't suppose for a moment that we can understand why the girl committed suicide. Girls of that class-", displaying, aptly, the attitudes of the people in higher classes towards those in lower class.coge ger segegew orge gek inge foge ge; Mrs.

  2. Write about the character of Mr Birling and his importance to the play.

    However, the Inspector is not concerned at all by these names, which seriously affects the attitude and behaviour of Mr Birling. He gets angrier and angrier at the Inspector, calling him ?officious? and threatening to report him. There is a definite clash of authority and beliefs between the two men,

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work