An Inspector Calls - Characters

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Arthur Birling

  • represents capitalist views, sexist views, and the views of the older generation

Adjectives

  • capitalist
  • hypocritical
  • narrow-minded
  • self-important
  • arrogant
  • shallow
  • successful
  • ignorant / naive

Character Progression

  • no progression

Key Quotes

  • "hard-headed business man"
  • "The German's don't want war" // "the Titanic...unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable"
  • "you'd this everybody has to look after everybody else, as if we were all mixed up like bees in a hive"
  • "If you don't come down sharply on some of these people they'd soon be asking for the earth."
  • "If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we'd has anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn't it?"
  • "when this comes out at the inquest, it isn't going to do us much good"
  • "(somewhat impatiently)
  • Eric - "you're not the kind of father a chap can go to when he's in trouble"
  • "Now look at the pair of them - the famous younger generation who know it all. And they can't even take a joke-"

Sybil Birling

  • represents capitalist views, the views of those in the traditional class based system, and the views of the older generations

Adjectives

  • prejudiced
  • unsympathetic
  • cold
  • stubborn
  • superior (socially)
  • untrustworthy
  • self-important
  • hypocritical
  • naive

Character Progression

  • no progression

Key Quotes

  • "When you're married you'll realise that men with important work to do sometimes have to spend nearly all their time and energy on their business."
  • "(staggered) You know him, Gerald - and you're a man - you must know it isn't true"
  • "I don't suppose for a moment that we can understand why the girl committed suicide. Girls of that class - "
  • "Unlike the other three, I did nothing I'm ashamed of"
  • "I blame the young man who was the father of the child.... then it's due to him" (page 47)
  • "(triumphantly) Didn't I tell you?"
  • "I was the only one who didn't give in to him"

Eric Birling

  • represents the views of the younger generation

Adjectives

  • immature
  • alcoholic
  • unsupported
  • awkward/outsider
  • selfish
  • sympathetic

Character Progression

  • part of the 'chain of events' - started off by abusing his power/status
  • accepts responsibility and feels guilty about his actions
  • shows he is capable of changing for the better

Key Quotes

  • "(not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive)"
  • "(still uneasy) Well I don't think it's very funny"
  • "Just let me finish, Eric, you've got a lot to learn yet"
  • "It's about time you learn to face a few responsibilities"
  • "I was in that state when a chap easily turns nasty"
  • "used her for the end of a stupid,

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