Theme: Responsibility

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  • Priestley wanted to convey to the audience the idea of personal responsibility and collective responsibility
  • in 1912 there was no welfare state and many lower class people had to rely on charities run by upper class people (e.g. Mrs Birling)
  • Priestley wanted this society to change and wanted the upper class to feel more responsible for the rest of society

Mr and Mrs Birling

  • responsible not only for their own actions, but their childrens actions too
  • no guilt/conscience/remorse, self justifying and constantly in denial - no compassion
  • 'you'd think everyone has to look after everybody else, as if we were all mixed up like bees in a hive'
  • 'you began to learn something…


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