Mr Birling - Key Quotes

  • Created by: EmJM
  • Created on: 18-04-19 18:27

Mr Birling - Key Quotes

"Unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable"

- The play was set in 1912 - the year the Titanic set sail and sank.

- The 1945 audience will be aware that the Titanic did in fact sink, making Mr Birling look foolish.

- Priestley purposely wants to show this to highlight the foolishness of the upper class.

"There isn't a chance of war"

- Similar to the first quote - the 1945 audience will be aware that war does happen. (In two years from when the play was set, World War 1 breaks out. Then in 1939, World War 2)

- This again makes Mr Birling look foolish as well as the upper class. (Priestley's intentions)

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Mr Birling - Key Quotes

"Your engagement to Sheila means a tremendous lot to me"

- Mr Birling is only interested in the engagement as there is a possibility of Birling and Co joining with Crofts Limited in a business deal.

- Therefore, making money is Mr Birling's main focus, much like the rest of the upper class.

- He is also showing more interest in Gerald than his own son, Eric

"Knighthood"

- Mr Birling brags to Gerald about gaining a knighthood

- He uses this to try and impress Gerald, who is of a higher status

- Again, money making is Mr Birling's main focus

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Mr Birling - Key Quotes

"There'll be a public scandal"

- Mr Birling is only concerned about his reputation; he doesn't want to lose it

- He does not care that a girl could have possibly died, maintaining a high authority and making money is central to his life

- This is similar to the attitudes of the upper class during 1912 as the lower class were not to be cared for

"I cannot accept any responsibility"

- Much like the rest of the upper class, Mr Birling does not take responsibility

- Himself and the upper class are portrayed as stubborn and ignorant

- This contrasts with Sheila and Eric who do take responsibility - Youngner generation vs Older generation

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