An Inspector calls

theme and character analysis with a few quotes

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  • An Inspector Calls
    • Themes
      • Responsibility
        • Priestly uses responsibility to show the two different views: capitalist (Birling) and socialist (Inspector)
        • The idea of the play is what happens to Eva Smith represents what happens to all poor workers
      • Social Class
        • Mrs Birliing is Mr Birling's social superior as is Gerald to Sheila
        • Mrs Birrling refers to Eva as "of that class"
        • Priestley was interested in the class system and how it determines the decisions thnat people make.
      • Gender
        • In the play it is showed that women are used as possessions by men and that they don't have the same rights.
        • Mr Birling has a patronizing and stereotypical  view of women whereas Gerald is very superficial in his view of women. Even though Mrs Birling is a woman, she is just as cruel and old fashioned as the men.
      • Age
        • There is significant contrast between the younger and older generations.
        • Arthur and Sybil refuse to accept the responsibility in Eva's death whereas Eric and Sheila are shaken up by the Inspector message and take great responsibility.
        • Priestly suggests a more communally responsible socialist future.
      • Time
        • Priestly believed in Dunne's theory that people could see backwards and forwards in times.He thought that meant you could be warned by visitors from the future about how tio behave
    • Characters
      • Mr Birling
        • He's highly conscious of social status.
          • He says he has a "good chance of a knighthood" was an alderman", was "Lord Mayor" two years ago, is "on the bench" and "plays golf" with "our Chief Constable".
        • Mr Birling is an arch capitalist and hates socialism.
          • He represents the greed, self-importance and stupidity of capitalism
          • "a Socialist or some sort of crank - he talked like one"
      • Inspector Goole
        • The term Goole sounds like "ghoul". he is ghost-like in the sense that he doesn't exist.
        • The Inspector represents the voice of socialism and Priestly.
          • "we are all responsible for each other"
      • Sheila
        • Sheila is optimistic and unlike her parents, shows remorse for the suicide of Eva Smith.
        • She is sympathetic to the ideas of socialism and displays a free-thinking spiritedness
      • Mrs Birling
        • Mrs Birling is a cold, dull and unsympathetic woman who represents the upper class of women.
        • She refuses to believe Eva Smith's story because she is of lower class.
      • Gerald
        • Gerald represents the aristocracy. he is stuck in the middle between socialist and capitalist.
        • At the end, Gerald turns out to be more relieved than repentant about the hoax of Eva Smiths death.
      • Eric
        • He shows regret and guilt towards Eva Smith, and shows that, despite his initial brutishness, he does have a tender and paternal side.
        • By the end of the play, he stands firmly on the side of socialism.


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