Generation Gap In AIC

  • Created by: Riya2105
  • Created on: 15-12-19 22:12

Priestley juxtaposes the older and younger generation in 'An Inspector Calls' to highlight the differences in attitudes towards the expoitation of the working class, particularly through the characters of Sheila and Mrs Birling.In the exposition of the play, Mrs Birling only speaks to spread criticism and to rebuke those who go against the upper class etiquettes, ' Arthur, you're not supposed to say such things' which confirms that she is undoubtedly 'a rather cold woman'. The adjective 'cold' has connotations of cruelty and emotionlessness, which contrast with the characteristics of a typical mother and charity worker. In contrast, Priestley presents Sheila's optimism and enjoyment in the stage directions, 'very pleased with life and rather excited'. Here, the adjectives 'pleased' and 'excited' convey Sheila's hope and contentedness; Unlike Eva's, Sheila's life has been easy and luxurious.However, after the arrival of the inspector, we can evidently see that Sheila develops from a naive child where she seeks her mother's approval,' Look Mummy, Isn't it a beauty?' to a responsible young woman who enquires about more relevant things, 'So I'm really responsible?'.Priestley utilises both younger and older characters to display hope for the future, as Sheila is willing to transform herself to benefit others.

In act two, Priestley heightens the differences between Sheila and Mrs Birling significantly to convey that in order to build a better society and destroy the cloud of ignorance, we must look to the younger generation. By refusing to accept responsibility for the death of Eva Smith, Mrs Birling portrays herself as stubborn and inconsiderate when she says, ' I consider


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