AN INSPECTOR CALLS

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  • Themes of "An Inspector Calls"
    • Responsibility
      • Inspector wants everybody to feel responsible
      • "Each of you helped to kill her" - The Inspector
      • Inspectors final soliloquy about responsibility is aimed at the Audience to
      • Collective Responsibility
      • "All intertwined with each other"
      • Society is more important than Individual Needs
      • Priestly was a socialist, this is very typical of his views
      • Birling fired her, this limits her very slim opportunities
    • Social Class and Status
      • We don't actually see any lower class characters apart from Edna the maid but we learn a lot about them...what does this say about society?
      • Eva who is lower class seems to be much more morally right than any of the characters at the start of the play.
      • Gerald has the highest status out of all the characters
      • They all treat the lower class with respect
      • The 'Palace Variety Theatre' was not a respectable place for the upper class yet that was where Gerald and Eric met Eva
      • Mr Birling is to be knighted but he treats the lower class as cheap labour
      • Sheila spends a lot of time shopping and fires people out of spite showing her class and status and that she's superior to the lower class and has a say
      • Gerald marries someone of a lower class despite his social situation and discards his mistress at will
      • Eric is awkward about his status but he uses Eva as drunken sex and then his consequences do not really affect him but only Eva
      • Mrs Birling has a higher status than her husband but is still rude to Eva
    • Sex and Gender
      • Women's rights
      • Eva was not valued because she was a woman and stood up for what was right
        • Would've that happened if she was a man?
      • Upper Class Women don't have many rights - Sheila's only job is to impress Gerald
        • Is that why she is so upset when the affair between Eva and Gerald comes up?
        • She goes to Milwards often enough to have some say in how the business is run (hand in hand with her class)
      • Eva didn't have very many options in the end because she was a woman
      • Both of the Birling's in the older generation have negative attitudes towards Feminism
      • Gerald sees Eva as something "fresh" - as something to exploit because she is a woman
    • Age
      • Older characters set in their ways and refuse to change
      • Eric and Sheila (the younger characters) are open and accepting to new ideas of change
      • The older characters do not examine their conscience while the younger ones do and show remorse for Eva
      • Older characters will do anything to protect themselves while the younger ones accept their faults and try to redeem their selves
      • Older and younger contrast each other
      • Gerald sides with the younger generation due to his aristocratic background
      • The change of the younger characters mean is symbolic that there is hope for the future

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