An inspector calls - themes

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  • Created by: charlie
  • Created on: 15-04-13 22:09


inspector quote: "one eva smith has gone...and what we think and say and do"

  • collective responsibility
  • everyone linked - same way characters linked to eva smith 
  • "one body"- society more important than individual interests 
  • spokesman for priestly getting across his socialist views  

adds clear warning to what would happen if we ignore our responsibility:

"and i tell you that the time will soon come...taught in fire and blood and anguish"

  • all characters have either accepted responsibilty and learnt (young)
  • or not and ignored and denied resposibilty (old)
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sex and class


  • each individual has there own outlook on Eva Smith of the lower class at both the start and end of the play.


  • Eva was a woman- no status 
  • no social securtiy and few job options open to women 
  • Mr Birling dissmissive: "we were paying the usual rates..."
  • Gerald: "young and fresh and charming" (someone to take advantage of)
  • Mrs Birling: saw eva a presumptious upstart (know it all) finding little excuses to not give her a respectful amount money like the charitiy usually did to women. only offered her small amount that Eva turned down. 
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the old:

  • utterly confident that they are right 
  • see the young as foolish 
  • want to protect themselves
  • never before have been forced to examine consequences (upper class)
  • much to fear- will lose everything 
  • deny responsibilty 

the young:

  • open to new ideas- express sympathy to workers 
  • honest and admit their faults 
  • examen their consciences 
  • nothing to fear as will admit what they did wrong and willing to change
  • accept responsibilty as a whole 
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general themes

capitalism VS socialism 

upper class VS lower class

young VS old 

individuals VS society 

men VS women 

acceptance VS denial 

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