Study Mind Map for 'An Inspector Calls'

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  • Inspector calls
    • Mr Birling
      • Mr birling is the head of the birling household
      • He has made himself very wealthy by being a 'hard-headed business man'
      • he is an active member of the brumley community
      • Mr birling thinks he is in the running for a knighthood
      • At the start of the play he come across as being arrogant
      • he makes long speeches about the predictions of the future
      • he also make assertions about how a man should look out for number one and not waste any time on anyone else
      • His wife is social superior and it is hinted that he is self conscious about being from a more working class background
      • he is materialistic and possessive and also has old fashioned views on women
      • Mr birling is shaken by the investigation and is shocked by the behaviour of his son eric
      • However he doesn't learn any lessons during the course of the play
      • when it seems like the inspector must of been an imposter he is overjoyed and mocks the others for having been tricked by the investigation
    • Mrs Birling
      • Mrs Sybil Birling is Arthur Birling's Wife
      • Right from the opening of the play she is cold hearted and snobbish
        • Throughout dinner she tells Sheila and Eric of for things she thinks is impolite
        • She ignorantly turns a blind eye to her son Eric drinking to much
      • Despite being a prominent member of the local women's charity
        • It is clear that despite Eric being old enough to drink and Sheila getting married
          • she sees them both as children not as young men and women
      • her cold uncaring nature leads to her downfall as the inspector forces her to unknowingly condemn her son
    • Gerald croft
      • Gerald is described as 'an attractive chap about thirty rather to manly to be a dandy but very much the easy well bred young man about town
        • at the beginning of the play Gerald comes across as being confident and charming
        • This changes after his affair with Eva Smith is revealed
          • Gerald gives himself away when he hears that Eva changed her name to daisy Renton
      • Mr birling is very pleases that he is getting engaged to Sheila
      • His family are upper class business owners, Mr birling hopes they can join forces in business
        • He initially is evasive and tries not to talk to much au *** but redeems himself in the eyes of the audience by being more open and honest
        • he lets himself down in the final act by trying to get the family out of trouble, he doesn't seems to have learnt from his mistakes
    • Inspector Goole
      • The inspector arrives whilst the birling family are celebrating the engagement of Gerald and Sheila
        • the inspector investigates each family member at a time and in doing so reveals the consequences of their behaviuor
          • By the end of the play it is revealed that he isn't in fact an inspector
            • It is not entirely clear who he is so JB Priestly leaves it up to the audience to decide
        • He drives forward the drama with his questions creating shocking moments and gripping cliff hangers for the audience
          • His name Goole suggest and supernatural or ghost like element
            • He also seems to know what the characters will say before they even do
              • is he the conscience of the audience? Is he the voice of priestly?
                • Either way he delivers a frightening message when he leaves
                  • That if people do not take responsibility for other people the world is doomed
      • The stage directions state that he 'need not be a big man' but that he must create an 'impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness
    • Eva smith/Daisy Renton
      • We never meet Eva smith during the play but she is a very important character
        • It is her death that is the cause of the inspectors investigation which in turn drives the drama
          • a lot of information about her is inferred - from the incident at Mr Birling's factory we can infer that she was strong willed
            • from her interaction with Sheila, the audience can see that she had a sense of humour
            • her relationship with Gerald when she changed her name to daisy Renton reveals her sensitivity
            • by the time she reaches eric and Sybil eva is desperate and resourceful in trying to get herself help
        • The audience learns about Eva through the inspector who has read a letter and a diary she kept
        • They also learn about her through the characters she came in contact with
          • Eva is always referred to in a positive light by the characters that met her but the inspector never lets the audience or the birling's and Gerald forget her gruesome death
          • the inspectors final speech reveals Priestley's lesson that there are millions of Eva smiths being exploited and this cannot continue
    • Sheila
  • She shows an assertive side by standing up to her mother and father

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