Key themes in An Inspector Calls

  • Created by: jaaaz_v
  • Created on: 17-05-15 13:50
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  • Key Themes
    • Age
      • The older generation are traditionalists
        • Arthur and Sybl have traditionalist views
        • Utterly set on their ways and see the young as foolish
        • Will do anything to protect themselves
        • Never been made to face consequences and aren't willing to do so now
      • Young are open to new ideas
        • Both Eric ans Sheila feel sorry for the workers (unlike the old)
        • Sheila and Eric seem as though they would challenge the authority in society
        • The younger characters learn their lesson- which shows that there's a chance for an equal and fairer society in the future
      • Gerald lies in the middle
        • Sides with the older generation
          • His aristcratic roots influence him to want to stick to the status quo
            • Protect his own interests
    • Family Life
      • Family members at the time were expected to know their place
      • Gender roles were in place in many families
      • The hierarchy in the family is ruined when the Inspector calls
        • Sheila and Eric freely speak for themselves
        • The younger characters break away from their parents traditional views
          • Eric says that omther doesn't "understand anything"
          • Both refuse "to go on behaviing just as we did"
    • Social Class
      • Drives the plot and shapes the characters
      • Priestley presents socialism positively and traditionalism nagatively
        • To put across his own views
      • Mrs Birling doesn't recodnise Evas photo
        • Shows that to her Eva jaas no identity+ doesn't deserve any
      • Higher classes didn't question the class system because it worked for them
      • The Birlings think that class is all that matters
        • Mr B's biggest concern is that hw won't get his knighthoot because of a public scandal
        • Mr B thinks that because he's been in positions in authority make him more important
        • Pleased that Sheilas marrying into a higher class
    • Gender
      • Women were meant to be obsessed with "pretty clothes"
        • "Sheila gazed adoringly at her ring"
        • Sheila gets Eva sacked because of jealousy
      • Men were supposed to be occupied with work and public affairs
      • Eva and Sheila challenge the gender stereotypes
        • Eva refuses to take Erics stolen money; doesn't rely on a man to save her
        • Sheila grows bolder and challenges her family
      • Mr Birling, Gerald, and Eric get weaker as Sheila gets stronger
    • Social Responsibility
      • Mr Birling thinks that community responsibility is "nonsense"
      • Mrs Birling thinks she has no responsibility to the working class
      • Sheila realises that what she did was irresponsible
      • Eric realises too late that his actons ruined Evas life
      • By the end of the play its clear that Priestley thought that society needed to chnage


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