Mr Birling

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  • Mr Birling
    • The titanic is unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable
      • DI - Titanic sunk in 1912 - symbolic of the collapse indestructible mentality of upper class, held the hopes + dreams of many.
      • Trust + faith in aristocracy damaged as well as their reputations. Notable class divide - strongly decided your fate, 1500 died.
    • We're in for a time of steadily increasing prosperity.
      • Exposes untouchable, invincible mindset of upper class - DI -  depression in 1930s due to Wall Street Crash - unemployment rose by 25%
      • Collective pronoun 'we' shows he sees upper class as a community, superior to lower classes.
    • There'll be peace and prosperity everywhere and rapid progress everywhere - except of course in Russia
      • He is the embodiment of the 1912 status quo, refusal to believe anything but the upper classes opinion.
    • a heavy-looking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties
      • Arrogant, self-made man, part of the aristocracy but didn't inherit his wealth - has a 'common' touch.
    • a man has to look after himself  - and his family too of course
      • Exploits lower class to make his fortune. Rejects any social / communal responsibility. emphasizing his capitalist mindset.
      • Pause shows family is an afterthought - his first priority is himself.
    • You are not the kind of father a chap could go to when he's in trouble, that's why
      • Distant father-son relationship, lack of intimacy + care - he cares more for his reputation than his son.
      • Takes little interest in Eric - causing him emotional damage, they are estranged from one another.
    • Silly, pessimistic talk
      • Patronizing tone - demonstrates hubris  + arrogance - unwilling to believe any talk of war or anything that could damage the image of the aristocracy.
      • Highlights his sense of superiority, only opinion of upper class matters.
    • so long as we behave ourselves
      • Repetitiveness of stating he hasn't done anything - implies there's a scandal, arousing suspicion
      • Referring to  accepting a knighthood - hypocrisy -  willing to accept position of authority from public but not  the responsibility that comes with it.
    • Still, I can't accept any responsibility. If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we'd had anything to with, it would be very awkward wouldn't it
      • Rejects any responsibility to the community, undermining socialism. He expects to be agreed with, showing he feels others should have the same mindset.
    • Well, if he wasn't, it matter a devil of a lot.
      • Dismisses his actions as no one truly knows, feels there are no real consequences as his reputation is still intact - no acceptance of social responsibility.


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