Inspector calls themes



The characters considered themselves to be moral because of their social status. 

They lack social morality and compassion for the people around them.

  Priestley links the birlings and Gerald to the seven deadly sins.

the sins of pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.

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Social responsibility

 Priestley use the inspector to express the importance of social responsibility.

He uses Arthur and Sybil Birling to represent how the higher classes focus on improving their own lives and Status rather than helping others.

The inspector changes Sheila and Eric's social viewpoint but the others return to the old selfish ways.

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Personal responsibilty

Inspector in car to confess and take personal responsibility for the death of Eva Smith

Sheila and Eric accepts responsibility

Gerald seems to show remorse but this fades when he thinks the story can be kept a secret.

Arthur and Sybil refuse to accept that they did anything wrong.

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Eva Smith suffers from social inequality due to her class and her gender. There are always more powerful people controlling her life.

Arthur and his family benefits from inequality as cheap labour has made them rich. The abuse of power has led to Evas death.

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Young and Old

Young are expected to respect and Obey their elders 

At first the birlings display traditional expectations of age 

After the inspectors arrival Sheila and Eric begin to challenge their parents 

The children represent hope 

Unlike their parents they can learn and change

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Short timescale intensifies the events on stage 

The flashbacks create an idea of past events and their consequences 

Different responses to the past allowed Priestley to create different moods on stage 

Eric and Sheila want to mend the past while arthur and Sybil want to deny it 

The play being written in 1945 and set in 1918 allows for great deal of irony. Priestley is there for underlining that capitalist views are wrong.

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Priestley present Gerald and Sheila as being in love 

However Gerald has had an affair 

Men and women are presented as having different views on Love 

The men are criticised for wanting sex more than love

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