Characters

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  • Created by: Bananna20
  • Created on: 18-05-16 20:01
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  • Characters
    • Mr Birling
      • "heavy-looking, rather portentous man in his middle 50s but rather provincial in his speech"
      • Proud of working up in the world
        • Boasts about being Mayor & tries to impress the Inspector
      • Aware of his social superiors
        • Shows off about port to Gerald
          • "it's exactly the same port your father gets"
        • Proud to be knighted - higher social status
      • Selfish
        • Refers to socialist ideas as "nonsense"
        • "a man has to make his own way"
        • Can't see that he was wrong when firing Eva - looking after his business
        • Wants to protect his reputation
          • "I've got to cover this up as soon as I can" - when Eric stole the money
      • At the end he is unable to admit responsibility in Eva's death
    • Mrs Birling
      • "about 50, a rather cold woman & her husband's social superior"
      • Snob
        • Very aware of social class
        • Irritated when Mr Birling praises the cook in front of Gerald
        • Dismissive of Eva - "Girls of that class"
      • Has the least respect for the Inspector
        • Tries to intimidate & force him to leave
        • Lies to him - claims she doesn't recognise the photo
      • Sees Eric & Sheila as "children" - patronises them
      • Tries to deny anything she doesn't want to believe
        • Eric's drinking
        • Gerald's affair with Eva
        • The idea that a working class girl would refuse money even if it was stolen
          • "She was giving herself ridiculous airs"
      • Admits she was "prejudiced" on the committee
        • Saw it as her "duty" to refuse help
          • Her narrow sense of morality states the father is responsible
      • At the end she accepts Eric drinks & impregnated Eva, Sheila won't marry a social 'catch' & her own reputation is ruined.
        • Doesn't accept responsibility for Eva's death
    • Eric
      • "early 20s, not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive"
      • Seems embarrassed & awkward from the start
        • "Eric suddenly guffaws"
          • Unable to explain - nervous about something
        • When Gerald & Birling talk about women's love of clothes
          • Tension between Eric & Mr Birling
      • Hardened drinker
        • "I have gathered that he does drink pretty hard" - Gerald
      • Supports the workers' cause when finding out Birling sacked Eva
        • "Why shouldn't they try for higher wages?"
      • Feels guilt & frustration with himself over his relationship with Eva
        • "Oh - my God! - how stupid it all is!"
      • Has some sense of responsibility
        • Gave Eva money - more concerned about her than stealing from Birling
        • At the end he is fully aware of his social responsibility - doesn't want to cover it up like Mr & Mrs Birling
          • "We did her in all right"
          • "I'm ashamed of you" - to Mr & Mrs Birling when they wouldn't accept responsibility
    • Sheila
      • "a pretty girl in her early 20s, very pleased with life & rather excited"
      • Not as naïve as she first appears
        • "last summer, when you never came near me"
      • Shows compassion for the workers
        • "But these girls aren't cheap labour - they're people"
      • Horrified at herself  - guilt for jealous actions
        • "Really responsible"
      • Perceptive
        • Realises Gerald knew Daisy Renton from his reaction
        • First to realise Eric's involvement
        • First to consider that the Inspector isn't real
      • Curious - wants to know about Gerald
        • Respects his honesty - matures
      • Angry at parents for trying to "pretend that nothing much has happened"
      • At the end she is wiser - sees her family in a new perspective & is aware of her social responsibilities
    • Gerald
      • "an attractive chap about 30, rather too manly to be a dandy but very much the easy well-bred man-about-town
      • Aristocrat - son of Lord & Lady Croft - unimpressed with his choice of wife as they declined the dinner invite
      • Unwilling to admit his involvement with Eva
        • Genuinely cared for her
          • Moved by her death
          • Moved her into his friend's flat - "because I was sorry for her"
      • Desperate to prove the Inspector is a fake
        • Confirms with local police force, realises it may not be the same person & finds out from the infirmary that there was no suicide
          • Unchanged at the end
            • Tries to protect himself instead
            • Sheila unsure to marry him
    • Inspector Goole
      • "an impression of massiveness, solidity & purposefulness. He is a man in his 50s, dressed in a plain darkish suit. He speaks carefully & weightily"
      • Works systematically
        • "one person & one line of enquiry at a time"
        • "he's giving us the rope - so that we'll hang  ourselves" - Sheila
      • Authority figure
        • Deals with everyone firmly
          • "massively taking charge as disputes erupt between them"
      • Mystery suggests he isn't real
        • Ghost? Goole --> ghoul?
        • Voice of Priestly?:
        • Voice of God?
        • Voice of our consciences?
      • Knows & understands a lot
        • Eva's history & the Birlings' involvement
        • "I'm waiting...to do my duty" - just before Eric walks in
        • "I haven't much time" - may know the real inspector is arriving soon?
      • Final speech is like a sermon
        • "We are responsible for each other"
        • Warns of "fire & blood & anguish" if they don't pay attention to him
    • Eva Smith
      • "Very pretty - soft brown hair & big dark eyes"
      • 'Eva' is similar to 'Eve' - 1st woman. 'Smith' is a common surname. 'Eva Smith' may represent every woman of her class
      • Working class

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