an inspector calls themes - stereotypical women

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  • An Inspector Calls Themes (stereotypes)
    • Women are supposed to be obsessed with "pretty clothes", shopping and weddings
    • women are also protected against "unpleasant & disturbing" things- for example when mrs birling and shiela left the dining room so that the men could speak.
    • sheila gets eva sacked because of pride, vanity and jealousy which are some of the stereotypical traits that females aquired in the play.
    • sheila is accused of being hysterical- a state which is often associated with women at the time.
      • mr birling tries to send shiela away when the inspector arrives- he thinks that she should not have to listen to this unpleasant conversation.
    • The play was set during a patriarchal society which means that men ruled women, made decisions for them & treated them like property.
      • Upper class women were also expected to be obedient & well educated because it would give a good impression on their father and husband.
    • upper class women were expected to wear the nicest clothes to show off their husbands wealth.
    • women were also expected to go to events and throw parties to show off wealth and make their husband look good.
    • Priestley did not only chose a lower class person he chose a lower class WOMAN to emphasise the inequalities and how different they were treated.
    • Eva smith only had a few options to improve her life as she was of a lower class
    • throughout the play male characters use & dismiss eva due to her low class status, people think she id corrupt because of her class so this is seen as okay.
    • gerald uses eva for sex because she is young and pretty (and because he knows she wont tell anyone because of her class)
      • Eric forces himself on Eva- he threatens that he will ruin her if she doesn't let him have sex with her.
        • mrs birling believes "girls of that class" dont have morals and so turns her away from the charity
    • mr birling sees women as expendable- he feels that he can just hire others after he gets rid of some who disrupt his business.
  • by the end of the play the male characters are weaker than shiela as she gets stronger- priestley does this to challenge the audiences view on women at the time
  • Gerald is rejected by Sheila and Eric is revealed to be lazy with a drinking problem and Birling has slowly undermined his authority and sheila voices her own opinions and thinks for herself.


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