An Inspector Calls - key themes & quotes

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  • an inspector calls: key themes
    • social class
      • Sybil probably is the most prejudiced character when it comes to social class. class is almost all that mattersher.
        • ' a girl of that sort'
        • stage direction -  her husbands social supirior'
        • Arthur you to supportto say such things'
        • ''you have no power over me'
      • Arthur wasn't allways in the social state he is now, he was once working-class.  however he desperately want to be of the highest class he can be'
        • ''may have done better for yourselfsocially'
        • 'a very good chance of a knighthood.'
        • 'always been regarded as a sound useful party man'
      • Gerald is the highest class of the characters but doesn'tnecicerally care as much as Arthur.
        • ' stage direction - a well bred young man'
    • men vs women
      • Arthur shows his stereotypical views of women in different places in the play. he believed that Eva smith being a woman shouldn't have stood up for herself but should have quietly accepted what the man/men had told her.
        • 'She'd had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go'
        • 'Eva smith was one of them'
        • clothes mean something different to a woman... a sort of token of their self respect'
      • Sybil has certain expectations of a woman\girl especiallywhere Shiela and lower class women are concerned.
        • ''the things you girls pick up these days'
        • you'll realise that men with important work... you'll have to get used to that'
        • 'as if a girl of that sort would ever refuse money'
      • sheila doesn't show much about her vews on women except for a few places.
        • 'but girls rant cheap labour they're people
        • 'yes thetas what you say'
      • Eric shows his difference in behaviour towards men and women when he treats Eva like an object when he has sex with her maybe when she didn't want to.
    • social responsibility
      • Mrs Birling ; Throughout the play Sybil continually says she has no responsibility for the death of Eva Smith because she has no responsibility for 'that class'
        • ''simply because I've done nothing wrong'
        • she begins to blame others
          • 'a it wasn't I who had her turned out of employment which probably started it all'
          • 'then he'd be entirely responsible'
      • Eric Birling has little responsibility at the start of the play, unlike Sybil he is unaware of his lack in responsibility and is childish and ruthless
        • 'I don't know - really. I just suddenly felt I had to laugh'
        • 'we'll drink to their health'
        • but towards the end he begins to realise and take responsibilty
          • 'and it doesn't alter the fact that we all killed her'
          • 'the moneys not the important thing.its what happened to the girl'
      • right from the beginning even though she was naive Sheila realised her responsibility in the death of Eva smith'
        • stage direction - with a little cry, gives a half-stifled sob and then runs off stage
        • 'if I could help her now I would'
        • 'I know I had her turned out of a job, I started it'
      • Arthur Birling never really takes responsibility but does try and change the story to make it so he wouldn't br responsible maybe suggesting guilt however he doesn't ever say he is guilty or responsible for what he did.
        • 'still, I can't except any responsibility'
        • obviously it has nothing whatever to do with the wretched girl suicide...'
    • learning/ changing
      • sheila is the character which most noticeably changes over the course of the play.
        • 'mummy' to 'mother'
        • Act 1 'very pleased with life and rather excited '
        • 'gives a little cry'
        • 'then im staying' - starting to show authority
        • (with irony)'that was nice of you'
        • 'mother I think it was cruel and vile'
        • ' its you two who are being childish'
      • Eric changes but right at the end of the play in act 3
        • 'no Shiela 's right it dense matter'
        • 'the moneys not the important thing'
        • 'and I say the girls deadened we all helped kill her - and thats what matters'
      • young and old
        • the younger generation seem to lear/ change more than the older generation, Priestley representing the change in society.
        • the 'young' characters represent the change in society, they begin to understand the inspector and his purpose.
    • young and old
      • the younger generation seem to lear/ change more than the older generation, Priestley representing the change in society.
      • the 'young' characters represent the change in society, they begin to understand the inspector and his purpose.

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