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What is the importance of Mrs Birling?

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Introduction

What is the importance of Sybil Birling in An Inspector Calls? Plan: * Strong adherence to convention, hierarchy and what should be done * Prejudice, as she believes in classes * Egotistical * Cold hearted * Product of older generation * Bad family life * Women An In Inspector Calls is an allegorical play, which uses the unities of time and place to convey how all people's actions are linked up in a "chain of events." The play was written in 1942, however set during 1912 to show the ignorance and selfish behaviour of the upper classes. The play however, is set in a time where society was changing and there was hope during the Edwardian Era for the younger generation to change. Priestley uses the Birling family and Mr Croft to show how ignorant attitudes and lack of responsibility can affect people's lives. ...read more.

Middle

Additionally, Mrs Birling was prejudice against Eva Smith because she "wasn't satisfied" with the girl's claim. It presents that Mrs Birling enjoys using her power over "girls of the class" to choose their fate. It is clear that Mrs Birling is self absorbed and like her husband doesn't believe in "community". Similarly, Mrs Birling fails to realise that it is her "duty" to help girls that come to her and not turn them away because they were "unsatisfied." Mrs Birling is egotistical, as she thinks that she is too self-important to answer any of the Inspector's questions. She doesn't believe that it is the Inspector's "business". Priestley conveys, Mrs Birling to be too self-absorbed to realise that she has a greater duty to adhere to her responsibilities to the community. Moreover, Priestley conveys that she cares more about there being a "public scandal" than about the girl's death. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, it shows that even though a family like the Birling's have a "substantial" and wealthy lifestyle, they are not a warm family. Mrs Birling is a typical woman of the older generation who doesn't believe in responsibility. She regularly tells Sheila and Eric off for admitting responsibility. Sybil is the type of character who will "build up a wall" to avoid taking any responsibility. It is her who accuses the "father" to be the problem of the girl's suicide. Sybil sees the Inspector as presenting a "wretched business" and an "undeserving case", therefore she shows little interest. In conclusion, Priestly conveys Mrs Birling as a typical woman who grew up during the Victorian period. She has a strong adherence to convention, although very little morality. She is the most hypocritical character as she is "not ashamed" of her actions and even as chair of a charity committee has little sympathy for "girls of that sort". ...read more.

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