Any notes for how theme of responsibility is shown in An Inspector Calls?

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We're looking at how responsibility is shown throughout the play and whether characters can accept it, etc.

Posted Sun 25th March, 2012 @ 20:52 by Nemo'

3 Answers

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Thanks both of you!

Do you know how I can structure the essay? I'm really confused about that part. For the beginning paragraph I could introduce the play briefly and talk about Priestley's views and how he's a socialist, etc. But then I don't know where to go next, and how to even conclude! Any tips?

Answered Wed 28th March, 2012 @ 17:20 by Nemo'
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I did this for GCSE coursework, I can't remember much, but I remember that, although all the characters had some responsibility in the girl's death:

  • Mr + Mrs Birling represent the older generation, and are unwilling to change
  • Sheila and Eric Birling represent the new generation who show some desire and will to change - obviously Sheila is much more determined than Eric in this
  • Gerald Croft, although he is physically a part of the younger generation, he doesn't hold the same values/morals as Sheila and Eric, because he aspires to be as rich and successful like Mr Birling (a Capitalist's view), and according to BBC Bitesize revision: " He seems to throw his energies into "protecting" himself rather than"changing" himself (unlike Sheila)."

Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, post back, I could try my best to answer them, I got an A* in this coursework :)

Answered Mon 26th March, 2012 @ 18:21 by Jessica Gledhill
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mr an mrs birling don't feel responsible for anything that happened to the girl. even though she's dead, they still think that they did not do anything wrong and they had a right to do what they did. they don't change their minds through th whole play.

Sheila takes the whole responsibility on herself. As soon as she finds out she got the girl fired, she think she's entirely to blame. She develops through the play, and it doesn't matter to her if the Inspector wasn't a police inspector.

Eric also takes the responsibility for what he did to Eva. Same as Sheila he thinks that it doesn't matter who was the Inspector. He and Sheila understand that we should all care about each other (socialism), while mr and mrs Birling believe in capitalism- we are only responsible for ourselves. 

Gerald takes the responsibility only partialy. He also belives in capitalism, however feels bad about what happened to Eva/Daisy.

Hope this helps :)

Answered Mon 26th March, 2012 @ 20:56 by Natalia