An Inspector Calls

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Play set in 1912: The First World War would start in two years. Mr Birling's optimistic view that there would not be a war is completely wrong.
Play Written In 1945: The Second World War ended on 8 May 1945. People were recovering from nearly six years of warfare, danger and uncertainty.
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Play set in 1912: There were strong distinctions between the upper and lower class
Play Written In 1945: Class distinction had been greatly reduced as a result of two wars.
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Play set in 1912: Women were subservient to men. All a well off women could do was get married; a poor women was seen as cheap labour.
Play Written In 1945: As a result of the wars, women had earned a more valued place in society.
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Play set in 1912: The ruling classes saw no need to change the status quo
Play Written In 1945: There was a great desire for social change.
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Start of the play Mr Birling was: Keen to be knighted to cement his hard-fought rise to the upper class
Mr Birling thought Eva was: Cheap labour
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Start of the play Sheila was: Happy spending a lot of time in expensive shops.
Sheila thought Eva was: Someone who could be fired out of spite.
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Start of the play Gerald was: Prepared to marry Sheila, despite her lower social position.
Gerald thought Eva was: A mistress who could be discarded at will.
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Start of the play Eric was: Awkward about his "public school-and-Varsity' life
Eric thought Eva was: Easy sex at the end of a drunken night out.
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Start of the play Mrs Birling was: Socially superior to her husband, and embarrassed at his gaffes.
Mrs Birling thought Eva was: A presumptuous upstart.
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The Old (Mr and Mrs Birling)
The Young (Sheila and Eric)
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The old are set in their ways. They are utterly confident that they are right and they see the young as foolish
The young are open to new ideas. This is first seen early in Act 1 when both Eric and Sheila express sympathy for the strikers- an idea which horrifies Birling, who can only think of production costs and ignores the human side of the issue.
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The old will do anything to protect themselves: Mrs Birling lies to the Inspector when he first shows the photograph; Mr Birling wants to cover up a potential scandal.
The young are honest and admit their faults. Eric refuses to try and cover his part up, saying, "the fact remains that I did what I did."
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They have never been forced to examine their consciences before and find they cannot do it now-as the saying goes "you can't teach an old do new tricks"
Sheila and Eric see the human side of Eva's story and are very troubled by their part in it. They do examine their consciences.
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Mr and Mrs Birlinghave much to fear from the visit of the "real" inspector because they know they will lose everything.
Sheila and Eric have nothing to fear from the visit of the "real" inspector because they have already admitted what they have done wrong, and will change.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Play Written In 1945: Class distinction had been greatly reduced as a result of two wars.

Back

Play set in 1912: There were strong distinctions between the upper and lower class

Card 3

Front

Play Written In 1945: As a result of the wars, women had earned a more valued place in society.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Play Written In 1945: There was a great desire for social change.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Mr Birling thought Eva was: Cheap labour

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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