An Inspector Calls Themes: Family Life

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  • Family Life
    • Family members were expected to know their role and accept it
      • The parents were in charge of the family and the children were obedient
    • Men were expected to: work to support their family, protect women
      • "When you're married you'll realize that men with important work to do sometimes have to spend all their time and energy on their business."
      • "A man has to make his own way - has to look after himself - and his family of course"
    • Women were expected to: marry into money so they didn't have to work, have children, be social, remain a house wife, obedient and quiet
      • Mrs Birling: ""You'll just have to get used to that, just as I had"
    • Clear hierarchy in the family is destroyed when the inspector arrives
      • Inspector: ("cutting through, massively")
    • Without their parent's influence, Sheila and Eric can speak for themselves
      • Eric says his mother "doesn't understand anything"
      • He also says that Mr Birling "isn't the kind of father a chap would go to for help"
      • Sheila & Eric refuse to "go on behaving just as we did"
      • They slowly untangle themselves from their traditionalist views

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