Character Analysis - Mr Birling

  • Created by: Oumie
  • Created on: 23-03-19 18:53
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  • Mr Birling
    • Capitalist
      • believes "a man should look after himself"
      • in Marxist terms individuals like Mr Birling and the Crofts build their power and influence at the expense of others
      • exploits workers by bringing lower costs for higher prices
    • lack of social responsibility
      • sees others as "cheap labour"
      • only cares about making profit for himself
      • doesn't believe in "community and all that nonsense"
    • likes to be in control
      • public figure who is obsessed with status
      • when his name is threatened he would "give thousands" to avoid a scandal
      • finishes his sentences with "of course" to make his claims seem obvious
      • repeatedly shouts"rubbish!" to dismiss what others have said
      • has the most continuous speech in the play
        • likes to talk but doesn't like to be interrupted
          • "just let me finish, Eric"
    • ambitious
      • sees his daughter's marriage as a business deal
      • very optimistic about the future
      • wants to be at the same social status as his wife and the crofts
      • "hard-headed practical man of business
        • same attitude to all areas of his life
    • anxious
      • desperately tries to get the Crofts' approval
      • tries to make himself know by playing golf with the Chief Inspector
      • Inspector threatens Mr Birling's middle - class values
        • this rattles Mr Birling as he has spent his whole life believing that the reputation of his company and his connections were all that matters
    • Priestley's use of dramatic irony
      • he makes Mr Birling look short-sighted
      • undermines authority
      • "silly little war scares"
      • the titanic is "unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable"
    • Words to describe Mr Birling

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