An Inspector Calls Themes: Social Responsibility

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  • Social Responsibility
    • Birling - thinks that community responsibility is nonsense. Interests of business are more important than worker's rights
      • "I discharged her from my employment nearly two years ago"
      • "Community and all that nonsense"
    • Mrs Birling - believes she has no responsibility towards the working class - her prejudices can't be changed because they are so ingrained
      • "When you're married you'll realise that men with important work to do sometimes have to spend nearly all their time and energy on business"
    • Sheila - realises that getting Eva sacked out of spite was irresponsible - but she didn't do anything about it. The Inspector challenges her to improve her behaviour
      • "What do you mean by that? You talk as if we were responsible"
    • Eric - realises too late that his selfish actions were responsible for ruining Eva's chances of improving her life
      • "I insisted on giving her enough money to keep her going - until she refused any more"
      • "He's admitted he was responsible for the girls condition"
    • Final speech is clear and to the point: a summary of his lesson about responsibility
      • "We are all members of one body"
      • "We are responsible for each other"
    • Inspector wasn't trying to make the family feel guilty, but to make society aware of the difficulties faced by all the "millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths"
    • All the events in An Inspector Calls are connected
      • Priestley's moral seems to be that: "it doesn't take great people to change the world - we all change it everyday just by the way we treat each other"

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