Mr Birling - Character analysis

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  • Mr Birling
    • He is the patriarch of the family (head of the house)
      • He believes it's his role to be in charge (of his family and his business)
    • Capitalist who opposes socialism
      • More concerned about profit than the well-being of his workers
        • Shown by when he fires Eva Smith because "she'd a bit more spirit than the others" and because she was a "ring leader"
        • "lower costs and higher prices"
      • "a Socialist or some sort of crank"
      • "a man must look after himself - and his family to"
    • What does Mr Birling represent?
      • Represents the Bourgeoisie
        • Bourgeoisie - capitalist class that controls wealth and means of production and is more concerned with material gain and conventional attitudes.
      • Greed
        • More concerned about profit than the well-being of his workers
          • Shown by when he fires Eva Smith because "she'd a bit more spirit than the others" and because she was a "ring leader"
          • "lower costs and higher prices"
      • Capitalist who opposes socialism
        • "a Socialist or some sort of crank"
        • "a man must look after himself - and his family to"
      • He is the patriarch of the family (head of the house)
        • He believes it's his role to be in charge (of his family and his business)
    • Personality and characteristics
      • Selfish
        • More excited about the prospect of Crofts Limited and Birling & Co. joining forces than his daughter's engagement.
          • "perhaps we may look forward to a future where Crofts Limited and Birling & Co are no longer competing but are working together for lower costs and higher prices"
      • Imperious
        • Meaning - arrogant and domineering
      • Pretentious
        • Meaning - attempting to impress by affecting greater importance or merit than is actually possessed.
      • Sees himself as important
        • "a hard-headed man of business"
          • A man who does well in his business and doesn't let sentiment get in the way.
      • He has no sense of social justice
    • Appearance
      • "heavy-looking"
        • His size helps to give him a thrwatening appearance.
      • "provincial in his speech"
        • Suggests he's worked his way up the social classes and he's living in an industrial town/city.
    • Key quotes
      • "a hard-headed man of business"
      • "provincial in his speech"
      • "Finchley told me it's exactly the same port your father gets from him"
      • "I was an alderman"
      • "Lord mayor two years ago"
      • "I was almost certain for a knighthood"
      • "You're just the kind of son-in-law I've alwaus wanted"
      • "nonsense"
      • "the Titanic... unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable"
      • "a man has to make his own way - has to look after himself and his family too"
      • "community and all that nonsense"
      • "I can't accept any responsibility"
      • "it's my duty to keep labour costs down"
      • "she'd had a lot to say.. she had to go"
      • "I'd a special reason for not wanting any public scandal right now"

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