English Literature: An Inspector Call Theme - Learning About Life

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Why does Birling sneer at Eric's private education and the younger generation who "know it all"
Because he's worked his way up.
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Why is it ironic that Birling is sneering at the younger generation who "know it all"
Because it's mainly the older generation who think they know it all.
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What does Arthur, Gerald, and Sybil's arrogance prevent them form doing?
Changing. They don't see anything wrong in the way they think or act. They believe that they know best. Mr Birling's views are made clear in Act One and they don't change.
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Why is Arthur's arrogance the reason he is so stubborn?
He doesn't think anyone has anything of use to tell him - especially not his children or a lowly inspector.
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Who is the only character Arthur Birling listens to? Why?
Gerald - because he's from a higher social class.
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Who does the inspector actually have an affect on? Why? What does this lead them to do?
Eric and Sheila because they are ashamed of their behaviour. This means they reject their parents who have refused to learn from the nights events.
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What do Sheila and Eric understand about the evening?
That the important thing was the lesson learnt, not whether the Inspector was real or not.
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What do Sheila and Eric do even before they realise their involvement in Eva's death?
Criticise their father's behaviour.
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What changes as well as Sheila's views? Explain this view.
Her personality - she starts out playful, obedient and self centred but as the play progresses, her character dramatically develops and she becomes more aware, sensitive and mature.
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Why do the older generation refuse to change?
Because they are happy living in ignorance - the problems of the living class don't affect them, so they don't want to know them.
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Show Birling being ignorant to Prostitution
"I see no point in mentioning the subject"
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Show Mrs Birling being ignorant to Womanising
"You don't mean Alderman Meggarty" - even though it's well known.
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Show Mrs Birling being ignorant to Eric's Drinking problems.
"It isn't true"
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Explain when Sheila says "It didn't seem to be anything terrible at the time"
She's trying to forget her bad behaviour.
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How does the class system work in the older generation's favour?
It suits them to think they're always right, they don't see the point of changing, or learning from the night's ordeal.
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Talk about the older generation doing everything to avoid changing.
They don't even change when it's clear they've done wrong - they refuse to believe it, and blame everyone else instead.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Why is it ironic that Birling is sneering at the younger generation who "know it all"

Back

Because it's mainly the older generation who think they know it all.

Card 3

Front

What does Arthur, Gerald, and Sybil's arrogance prevent them form doing?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why is Arthur's arrogance the reason he is so stubborn?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Who is the only character Arthur Birling listens to? Why?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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