An Inspector Calls Act 1 Key Quotes

  • Created by: jodie.g
  • Created on: 01-11-18 20:03
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  • An Inspector Calls Key Quotes Act One
    • Mr Birling
      • "A man has to make his own way - has to look after himself - and his family too"
        • Priestley uses Birling to highlight selfish capitalist views.
        • Right before Inspector Goole arrives, Birling is seen trying to educate Gerald and Eric on how he feels the world should work - he encourages them to only think about themselves and not to help anyone else in society
        • He feels that people can only be responsible for themselves - he feels that everyone is responsible for their own fate.
        • He thinks that if people fail, it is their own fault.
      • "I can't accept any responsibility"
        • Throughout the play, Mr Birling refuses to accept that he played a part in Eva's death. He argues that his involvement with Eva was so small and unimportant that it could not have led to her own death. He implies that it was Eva's fault.
        • Birling shows upper-class pre-war attitudes of denial (not accepting blame) and refusing to acknowledge the consequences that their actions had on lower-class people.
    • Mrs Birling
      • "Arthur, you're not supposed to say such things"
        • Mrs Birling has strong views about appropriate conversation topics, both at the dinner table and in front of company.
        • She scolds Mr Birling for inappropriate comments
        • She is of a higher social class than him but he has power because he is male
        • This means he is the head of the household and in charge of the family. The rules of patriarchy were more important than rules of social standing.
      • "When you're married you'll realise that men with important work to do sometimes spend nearly all their time and energy on their business. You'll have to get used to that, just as I had"
        • Mrs Birling highlights the gender differences in pre-war Britain - women generally had much less power and place in society than men
        • Even upper-class women had to live by the rules of men
        • Mrs Birling highlights this by trying to teach her daughter about the expectations for women


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