Generation gap

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  • Generation Gap
    • The older generation are old-fashioned
      • Sybil & Birling have very traditional views - they know best, children should be seen not heard and they dont like their authority being challenged.
      • They represent the views of the ruling class.
      • Mr B is in charge of the family and controls the dinner (at the start).
    • The young characters challenged the older ones.
      • Eva challenged B resulting in her being fired she "had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go."
      • They challenge B's authority, threatening him so he tells them they'd "better keep quiet".
      • The young ones learn their lesson.
      • Sheila tells her dad she is "not a child" but she acts like one getting Eva fired. As the play goes on she does grow up.
      • Eric stands up to them when it becomes apparent they won't accept responsibility "You're beginning to pretend now that nothings happened at all".
    • Gerald is young in age but old in attitude.
      • He is like a young Arthur.
        • His marrige was for buiness reasons.
        • He agreed that Eva had to be fired; "you couldn't have done anything different" - when talking to Mr B about firing Eva.
      • He doesn't appear to learn from his mistakes.
        • He doesn't appear guilty like Eric and Sheila.
        • He assumes his engagement will be back on "Everything is alright now, Sheila.".
      • J.B uses him to show that a more caring future isn't inevitable because he is young and doesn't learn from his mistakes. People will chose whether they are kind and caring or not. It is also a critism of how the upper class are stuck in their ways.
    • The young ones accept responsibility.
      • Eric: " the fact remains I did what I did" won't deny it.

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