Arthur Birling

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  • Arthur Birling
    • Over the course of the play, his authority is undermined.
    • Ambitious, anxious man that will ignore the needs of others for his profits
    • He says "silly little war scares". Priestley uses this dramatic irony to make his outlook seem foolish and short sighted.
    • Doesn't believe in "community and all that nonsense".
      • Selfish and self centered
      • Sees others as "cheap labour"
      • Personally fired ring leaders of strike which made things worse for his workers
      • Dismisses social responsibility
    • Blames Inspector for making his family fall apart and creating a "nasty mess"
    • Tries to win the Croft's approval - buys his father's favourite wine and draws attention to his connections with influential people
      • He plays golf with the Chief Inspector
      • Insecure and anxious as he has to try to prove himself
      • Inspector threatens his views which rattles him. He has grown up believing that all this matters
    • Dismisses others words by saying "Rubbish!" But makes his points seem obvious and matter of fact by saying "Of course" after them
    • "A man has to mind his own business and look after himself" - wants business to make higher profits. Priestley shows that this comes with a huge moral cost.


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