Mrs Birling Key Quotes

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  • Created on: 02-06-20 11:48
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  • Mrs Birling Key Quotes
    • 'his wife is about fifty, a rather cold woman and her husband's social superior' p1
      • very unsympathetic and controlling and bossy and demanding
        • Priestly criticising the class system  to create an inevitable conflict when the inspector arrives
        • 'arthur you're not supposed to say such things' p2
        • 'now stop it you two' p3
        • 'now, Sheila don't tease him' p3
      • immediate sense that she is class conscious and this play is heavily centered on class
    • 'now Sheila don't tease him.when your married you'll realise that men with important work to do sometimes have to spend nearly all their time and energy on their business. You'll get used to that, just as I had to.' p3
      • immediately shows how she is controlling and conforms to the typical standards of the time
      • Priestley exposes the restrictive nature of expectations  placed on women in the early 1900s
    • 'girls of that class'p30
      • shows how she thinks she is morally and socially superior because of her class
      • tension in audience, about to say something demeaning
    • 'my husband was Lord mayor only two years ago and that he's still a magistrate'p31
      • uses her  class as a weapon to try and intimidate the inspector
      • sees herself as above the law and struggle when they are faced with someone moral
      • Priestley condemns the upper class abuse of power and the inevitable exploitation of the socially powerless working class
    • 'NO, of course not. He's only a boy.'p32
      • he is innocent because of his gender.
      • unaware of her son's behaviour
    • 'I'm very sorry. But I think she had only herself to blame.'p43
      • portrays her as egocentric, self -centered, petty and unwilling to help those in need when she is living a comfortable life
      • symbolises the uncaring nature of capitalism
    • unlike the other three, I did nothing I'm ashamed of or that won't bear investigation.'p44
      • refuses to believe she did anything wrong for refusing Eva money
        • lacks care and empathy for the lower class and is neglecting them
        • resembles justification of Arthur, about protecting their own organisation or business  rather than the people in it
    • 'its his responsibility.'p45
      • blames other people to take the blame away from herself
    • 'if that girl's death is due to anybody, then its due to him.'p48
      • trying to take the blame off herself: doesn't take responsibility
      • audience response; suprised-hasn't changed
        • highlights how capitalists won't change and only are about themselves: financial success correlates with a lack of social conscience
    • 'as if a girl of that sort would ever refuse money!' p47
      • prejudice against Eva because of her class. stereotyping- they can't earn their own money
      • Priestley highlights and condemns the naivety of the upper classes (women in particular) and their complete lack of social awareness
        • 'girls of that class'p30
          • shows how she thinks she is morally and socially superior because of her class
          • tension in audience, about to say something demeaning


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