An Inspector Calls

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  • Created by: lx1234
  • Created on: 26-03-18 15:14
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  • Act One
    • Arthur's Speech
      • Priestley presents the Birlings as the perfect family.
        • Hidden layers: Gerald's family are more established and socially superior, Sheila suspects Gerald of lying and a social gender divide is clear.
          • Rose tinted spectacles - Link to opening of play, stage directions
        • Rose tinted spectacles - Link to opening of play, stage directions
      • Mr.Birling directs speech to the younger men about war and business. (Link to gender divide)
        • No conflict between workers and bosses - Strikes between 1912 and 1945.
          • "There's a lot of wild talk about possible labour troubles in the future. Don't worry. We've passed the worst of it"
        • Titanic wont sink - Sank in 1912
          • "Unsinkable! Absolutely unsinkable!"
        • No war with Germany - WW1 1914-1918, WW2 1939-1945
          • "The Germans don't want war."
        • Audience at time - 1946
        • "Just let me finish, Eric. You've a lot to learn yet. And I’m taking as a hard headed, practical man of business."
      • Mr Birling represents capitalism, lack of responsibility and older generation, not liking change
      • Birlings sin represented: Gluttony and Greed
    • An Inspector Calls
      • Act two
        • Gerald's Affair
          • Gerald wants Sheila to leave because he doesn't want her to hear the details, disguises it as not wanting her to hear something disturbing and unpleasant.
            • I: And you think young women ought to be protected from unpleasant and disturbing things?          G: If possible, yes                   I: Well, we know one young woman who wasn't, dont we?
          • For Gerald, it was a summer fling, but for Daisy/Eva it was the best thing that ever happened to her.
            • "She kept a rough sort of diary. And she said there that she had to go away and be quiet and remember ' just to make it last longer'. She felt there'd never be anything as good again for her – so she had to make it last longer."
          • Sheila breaks off the engagement, due to his lies about where he was last summer.
          • Gerald keeps Eva/Daisy as his mistress
            • Gerald's sin represented Lust
          • Gerald asks permission from the inspector to leave, shows that Mr. Birling is no longer in control of the situation
      • Act Three
        • A Fake?
          • Shows divide between generations
            • Birlings and Gerald do their best to prove the inspector wasn't real, more concerned about their reputation than what they may have caused
              • Play ends in a circular narrative, could represent karma, or how you are unable to escape from your mistakes
                • "That was the police...A girl just died on her way to the infirmary, they're sending a police inspector to ask some questions..."
          • Family agrees there is a possibility the inspector could be fake, Sheila arguing it doesn't make a difference whilst the parents argue it is important.
    • The Inspector Arrives
      • Inspector delivers blunt account of death.
        • Contrast with atmosphere in the beginning.
          • Rose tinted spectacles are lifted
        • Rose tinted spectacles are lifted
      • Use of harsh language. "Burnt inside out"
        • "She'd been taken there this afternoon because she'd swallowed a lot of strong disinfectant. Burnt her inside out, of course."
      • Theme: Family Values
      • Play becomes political: Eva Smith is fired due to asking for higher wages. Social Divide.
        • Theme: Social Responsibility
        • B: If you don't come down sharply on some of these people, they'll soon be asking for the earth                I: They might, but after all. Its better to ask for the world than to take it
      • Sheila has Eva fired from Milwards for smiling when she tried on a dress. Shows her immaturity as a character at the time.
        • "But I felt rotten about it at the time and now I feel a lot worse. Did it make much difference to her?"
        • Sheilas sin represented: Envy
    • Inspector leaves room, Gerald Confesses to Sheila
      • Gerald wishes to keep it quiet due to scandals (Link to reputation and social expectations)
        • "So -- for gods sake, don't say anything to the inspector!"
      • "Were you seeing her last spring and summer, during that time you hardly came near me and said you were so busy? Were you?" (he does not reply but looks at her.)
  • Gerald's Affair
    • Gerald wants Sheila to leave because he doesn't want her to hear the details, disguises it as not wanting her to hear something disturbing and unpleasant.
      • I: And you think young women ought to be protected from unpleasant and disturbing things?          G: If possible, yes                   I: Well, we know one young woman who wasn't, dont we?
    • For Gerald, it was a summer fling, but for Daisy/Eva it was the best thing that ever happened to her.
      • "She kept a rough sort of diary. And she said there that she had to go away and be quiet and remember ' just to make it last longer'. She felt there'd never be anything as good again for her – so she had to make it last longer."
    • Sheila breaks off the engagement, due to his lies about where he was last summer.
    • Gerald keeps Eva/Daisy as his mistress
      • Gerald's sin represented Lust
    • Gerald asks permission from the inspector to leave, shows that Mr. Birling is no longer in control of the situation
  • "That man has to mind his own business, and look after himself and his own-" (We hear the sharp ring of a doorbell)
  • "They wanted the rates raised so that they could average about twenty-five shillings a week. I refused, of course."
  • Mr Birling tries to defend Gerald, implies that a lot of young men have affairs/mistresses
    • "You must understand that a lot of young men ---"
  • 'Yes, I think it was simply a piece of gross impertinence - quite deliberate - and naturally that was one of the things that prejudiced me against her case.'
  • 'But I think she had only herself to blame'
  • The Inspectors Speech
    • He warns if people dpnt learn how to be more responsible, they will be forced to learn it in a harder way. This foreshadows all the suffering that will result from selfishness, mainly the world wars.
    • Shame is a key theme, however not in the way you would think. Sheila is ashamed of herself, Eric is ashamed of his parents and the parents are ashamed of Eric and his actions.
  • Links Eva/Daisy to the rest of humanity  and society
    • "One Eva Smith is gone, but there are millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us..."

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