Discuss The Role Of Eric Birling In The Play: An Inspector Calls.

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Danielle Jones 10M

Discuss The Role Of Eric Birling In The Play: An Inspector Calls

Eric, I think, plays an extremely important role in the play: An Inspector Calls, probably because of his difference in personality from the other protagonists.

    Eric is a young man who likes getting his own way and being the centre of attention. I know this because he says things like “Look here I’ve had enough of this,” which shows that he is willing to take control of a situation and impose his views on others, making him a key character in the play. Because of his assertiveness he is able to capture the audience’s attention and therefore keeps the people watching gripped, which obviously proves to be quite useful, when trying to create a successful play.

  At the beginning of act one, all the characters are quite pleased with themselves as they have just enjoyed a meal, to celebrate the future wedding of Sheila Birling and Gerald Croft. It is difficult to assume what Eric’s personality is like at first because he has been seemingly influenced by drink. This, I think, is obvious because after reading the stage directions I can see that “Eric suddenly guffaws” apparently for no reason, and also Sheila accuses him of being “squiffy”. One thing I can tell is that Eric has somewhat different thoughts and opinions than his father – Arthur Birling.  I can tell this because at one point, at the beginning of act one, he is discussing something with Birling and uses phrases such as “well don’t do any,” and “Yes, I know – but still-.”

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  On page nine in the play Eric creates quite an air of intrigue when he, Birling and Gerald are having a conversation about women. Birling has just finished saying how clothes are like “a woman’s token of self respect,” when Eric jumps in and says “yes, I remember-,” but, according to the stage directions “he checks himself.” This tells the audience that Eric definitely has a story behind him, that he wants to keep hidden from the other characters in the play, making them want to get to know Eric as more of a person and find out more ...

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