Mrs Birling

  • Created by: Riya2105
  • Created on: 15-12-19 15:41

Priestley uses the Birling family in 'An Inspector Calls' to portray the attitudes of various people, belonging to different classes during the time the play was set,1912. Mrs Birling, who ironically volunteers with a charity, continuously avoids accepting responsibility for her mistreatment of Eva Smith. Throughout the play, she is displayed as incredibly self-righteous and pompous which immediately encourages us to dislike and mistrust her. Also, Mr and Mrs Birling undeniably appear as arrogant and dismissive characters, which compels us to despise them.

Priestley utilises the character of Mrs Birling to represent the stubborn older geenration in 'An Inspector Calls', and display how they use their bourgeoise status to exploit the working class in order to present her as an unlikeable character. Intially, Mrs Birling only speaks to spread criticism and to rebuke, "Arthur, you're not supposed to say such things" which undoubtedly confirms that she is "a rather cold woman". The adjective "cold" has connotations of cruelty and emotionlessness, which contrasts to the attributes of a typical mother and charity worker. Additionally, Priestley conveys that Mrs Birling is unable to unite her family, unlike most women in the Edwardian era…


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