an inspector calls themes - abuse of power

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  • An Inspector Calls Themes (abuse of power)
    • The opening of the play sets up the Birlings as a wealthy powerful family, however the inspector exposes how they have used this power to influence immorally.
    • Everyone in the family used their power negatively to remove power from a lower class girl who already had little power to begin with.
      • Mr Birling used his power as Evas boss to get rid of Eva after she led other workers to fight for a pay raise.
    • mrs birling, as a leader of a womens charity organisation refused to help give financial aid to eva.
      • shiela was in a bad mood and so utilised her power negatively by getting eva fired because she thought she was prettier than herself
    • eric used physical and emotional power to force his way into evas lodgings- he threatened to cause a scene which woud belittle her even more
    • Gerald used his social status and money to manipulate Eva into being his mistress.
    • As we progress inn the play and more immoral decisions become apparent, Sheila and Eric become more ashamed of their familys actions.
    • sheila and eris reaction of shame towards their own corruption  causes conflict
    • Mr & Mrs Birling refuse to take responsibility for their actions which causes their relationship with their children to be conflicted
    • the birlings highlight how they can make immoral decisions and never think anything about them again despite possibly destroying someones life
      • this is all because of the power the upper-middle and upper-classes had during this time.
    • The inspector is like the voice of Priestey, he uses him to speak about the problems that society had.
      • "you turned her away when she most needed help"- inspector to Mrs Birling
    • the older generation believe that their actions were justified whereas the young feel shame toward their actions as they know what they did is wrong
    • the Birlings feel as though they deserve power and wealth and that the lower classes deserve to be less fortunate.
    • "we are members of one body"- inspectors socialist views point out that they should use their power carefully, aware of the effects that they cause.
      • He also exposes the idea that we are ALL human so class should not effect how you treat others.


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