Character Analysis

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  • An Inspector Calls
    • The Inspector
      • A man of 'massive, solidity and purposefulness,
        • The Inspector is an imposing figure who will dominate the play and will achieve his aims.
      • 'One person and one line of enquiry at a time. otherwise there's a muddle.'
        • He wants to do things his way, and he like to do things in an orderly way. This allows Priestley to present the play as a chain of events.
      • 'It's duty to ask questions'
        • He takes his responsibilities seriously, and show the others that they haven't done so.
      • 'He never seemed like an ordinary police inspector-'
        • The word 'ordinary' could mean 'usual', or it could mean that he was somehow 'extraordinary', more than human.
    • Mr Birling
      • 'Heavy-looking, rather portentous man'
        • Mr Birling's size helps to give him a threatening appearance.
      • 'A hard-headed practical man of bussiness'
        • He thinks of himself as a man who does well in business, and who doesn't let sentiment get in the way of whatever needs to be done to succeed.
      • 'Yes, my dear, I know - I'm talking too much'
        • He likes to air his views and is aware that he trends to monopolise the conversion to his own views, this suggest his views hold high importance to the people around him.
      • 'I'm a public man'
        • He expects respect as he has been a member of the town council, lord mayor and a magazine.
    • Mrs Birling
      • 'A rather cold women' and 'her husband social superior'
        • Mrs Birling is not a friendly person and rarely shows any affection. she look down on most people and expects the inspector to treat her with with the respect her husband is shown.
      • 'It's disgusting to me'
        • Even thought Gerald comes from a good family and meet with her approval as a future son-in-law, she cannot accept Gerald's affair.
      • 'The most prominent member of committee'
        • She is the most powerful and respected member of the group which runs the charity, and is able to influence the decisions it makes.
    • Shelia Birling
      • 'Oh -how horrible! Was it an accident?'
        • Sheila feels shock at the death of a young women. she is naïve to suggest that someone could drink a fatal amount of disinfectant 'by accident', but it show s she can't imagine someone  not having a lot to live for.
      • 'I wouldn't miss it for worlds'
        • Although bitter about Gerald's relationship with Daisy Renton, her curiosity needs to be satisfied and she is strong enough to hear the full story.
      • 'I had her turned out of a job'
        • She is prepared to accept responsibility for what she has done.
      • 'It's you two who are being childish - trying not to face the facts'
        • Sheila clearly believes that it doesn't matter whether the inspector is a real police inspector or not. Her Parents are relieved that they might prevent a scandal, but she is concerned that they all harmed someone.
    • Eric Birling
      • 'Just keep quiet, Eric, and don't get exited
        • Mr Birling recognises that Eric has had too much to drink and might easily say something he shouldn't.
      • 'That's something this public-school-and-Varsity life you're had doesn't seem to teach you.'
        • Eric has been an expensive school and then university, but Mr Birling feels he knows more of than his son.
      • 'Besides, you're not the type - you don't get drunk -'
        • We know that Eric does get drunk, and that the opposite of what his mother says is true.
      • 'Your trouble is - you've been spoilt'
        • Mr Birling thinks that by being the boss's son Eric has had too easy a life.
    • Gerald Croft
      • 'Easy, well-bred young man-about-town'
        • Gerald gets on easily with people, is self-confident and assured, and looks as if he knows a lot about life.
      • 'She had a lot to say ... far too much - she had to go'
        • She had spoken up for the other girls who were on strike and was showing leadership qualities against Mr Birling, and he didn't like that.
      • 'You're just the kind of son-in-law I always wanted'
        • Mr Birling sees Gerald as being like himself - a determined man of business; he sees the engagement as bringing the two family businesses together
      • 'Now she had to try something else'
        • The words sound innocent, but the 'something else' was meeting men in a place used by prostitutes.
    • Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton
      • 'A lively good-looking girl - country bred' and a 'good worker too'
        • Mr Birling had a good opinion of her. Being bred in the country made her naïve, less worldly-wise  than a 'leading operator'.
      • 'Now she had to try something else.'
        • The words sound innocent, but the 'something else' was meeting men in a place used by prostitutes.
      • 'She'd had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go'
        • She had spoken up for the other girls who were on strike and was showing leadership qualities against Mr Birling, and he didn't like that
      • 'She was a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go'
        • But Sheila judged the girl by her appearance, and she did not think about the difficult the girl might face in getting another job.
  • Even thought Gerald comes from a good family and meet with her approval as a future son-in-law, she cannot accept Gerald's affair.

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