English Literature: An Inspector Calls Analysis Act 1

How are the Birlings Priestley's idea of a 'perfect' middle-class family?
father is a successful business man,mother works hard 2 keep up Birlings' reputation in community,son works for the father in family business,daughter engaged 2 son of their competitor-should improve business cuz the 2 companies could merge in future
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Complete the sentence: At the beginning of play, everyone is c_______ and saying the _______ things.
At the beginning of play, everyone is content and saying the right things.
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Talk about Priestley's technique - dramatic irony
When the audience know more about something than the character on stage.
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How is conflict hinted through Sheila and Gerald?
Gerald says he was very busy with work last summer, but Sheila's not really satisfied with this answer "yes, that's what you say"
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How is conflict hinted through Birling and Gerald?
The crofts (Gerald's family) are more established and socially superior. This makes Arthur Birling anxious.
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In the play, what is the big difference between what's expected of men and women?
In this society, men are supposed to be busy with work and the world of public affairs. Women are supposed to be interested in family, clothes and social etiquette ('proper' behaviour)
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How does Birling show that he is confident about the future for his family and business?
He gives a speech with his predictions for the future - but the audience of 1946 knows what's coming and it's not what Birling thinks.
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In which way is Arthur Birlings speech extremely ironic? (strike)
He says conflicts between bosses and workers will come to nothing, but there were many strikes between 1912-45, including the general strike of 1926, which saw the country grind to halt for 7 days.
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In which way is Arthur Birlings speech extremely ironic? (titanic)
He says technological progress will continue, and gives the recently completed Titanic as an example. He says it's "unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable"
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In which way is Arthur Birlings speech extremely ironic? (war)
Eric asks whether they'll be a war with Germany. Arthur says no way. But two years later, along comes World War One - war with Germany.
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Explain how Priestley's use of dramatic irony makes Birling look, and how this makes the audience feel.
It makes Birling look overconfident, so the audience think that Birling might be wrong about lots of other things, such as his belief motto 'Every man for himself'
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Talk about the theme Family Life - Birlings' family life being held together by...
Secrets and polite behaviour. The inspector disrupts everything and lets the secrets out.
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Talk about the theme Social Responsibility - Birling sees employees as...
"cheap labour" If he can get them to work for less, he will do. He wants the opposite of social responsibility - maximum profit for the individual.
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Talk about the harsh and blunt language the Inspector uses to give an account of Eva Smith's death. "Burnt her inside out"
This language contrasts violently with the polite and playful atmosphere at the start. The inspector catches the Birlings off guard, which helps his investigation.
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Why is it important that The Inspector only shows a photograph to Birling - not Gerald or Eric?
Gerald later suspects that each person was shown a different photograph, believing it to be the same one.
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What questions are raised about the photograph the inspector shows Sheila? What does Sheila recognise about Eva?
Whether it was the same photograph that Birling saw. Sheila recognises Eva as the woman she got sacked from Milwards last year.
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Why did Sheila get Eva Smith fired from Milwards?
Because Sheila's insecurity and jealousy made her think Eva was laughing at her.
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What did Sheila use to get Eva Smith fired from Milwards?
As she is a regular customer from a good family, Sheila used her power to demand that Eva Smith be sacked from her job. Sheila abused her influence.
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Talk about Sheila saying she "felt rotten about it at the time"
This links to her reaction to the Inspector's news - they show she knew she behaved badly and she's grown up a bit since then.
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How does Priestley portray Sheila?
As a forgivable character.
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How does Eva's description of being a "lively good-looking girl" make the audience feel about Birling's actions?
It makes them think if Birling even worse for what he has done - Eva Smith was an attractive Hero.
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How does Birling's involvement give the play a political element?
Priestley's positioning the rights of the workers against the interests of the business man.
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Why did Birling sack Eva Smith?
Because he workers at the Birling factory went on strike after Birling refused a pay rise. He wanted to protect his profits and prevent another strike, so he sacked the "ring leaders", including Eva Smith.
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Why does the Inspector get Birling to tell the story of why he sacked Eva?
To give Birling false hope of being in charge for a little bit.
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Talk about the theme 'Men and Women' (affairs)
It was considered okay for men to have affairs and mistresses. It wouldn't have been acceptable for Sheila to have a lover.
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Talk about the theme 'Young and Old' (Sheila and parents views)
The Birlings don't think should hear this grim story. However, Sheila's a young woman who thinks for herself and breaks away from her parents traditional views.
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What is hypocrisy
When somebody's actions don't match what they claim to believe
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Which two characters leave to find Eric? What does this give Sheila the opportunity to do?
Arthur Birling and the Inspector. This gives Sheila an opportunity to question Gerald.
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What does the word "searchingly" suggest when the Inspector opens the door on Gerald and Sheila's conversation? What does his response 'Well?' suggest?
That the Inspector can read their expressions. He only says one word but it confirms that he's in contol and expects something from them.
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What is Gerald on about when he says "over and done with last summer" What does he suggest should happen to the information that has just been revealed?
His affair with Dais. He suggests that they should keep it a secret so it doesn't become a scandal.
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Why does Sheila say "how much he knows that we don't know yet?"
She's sure the Inspector knows everything so she's worried. Gerald and Sheila get more anxious and suspicious which heightens the tension.
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What word is used to describe Gerald's response when he recognises the name 'Daisy Renton'
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What does the Inspector reveal Eva Smith did after being sacked from Milwards?
She decided to change her name.
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Describe the real and fake reason the Inspector might have said Eva Smith changed her name.
Real - Eva Smith needed a dramatic change to escape her past. Fake - The Inspector spinning a tale to link two separate women. Either way the name Daisy Renton's a fresh sounding name for a fresh start.
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Describe the irony of Eva Smith's new name ... 'Daisy Renton'
'Under the daisies' was a euphemism for being dead, and 'renting' suggests prostitution so maybe the name isn't so fresh after all.
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What is an euphemism?
A way of avoiding saying something unpleasant by using other, often more vague, words.
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What is Sheila constantly told to do by her parents? Why does she not listen to them?
SHes told to leave the room repeatedly, however, she feels it's her duty to stay to hear the whole story and find out who's responsible.
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How is Eric and Sheila's response to the Inspector's story different from their parent's?
Eric sand Sheila give emotional responses, while their parents show no sympathy.
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Who points out the hypocrisy of Birling sacking Eva Smith? What is this hypocrisy.
Eric - Eva was sacked for asking for higher wages because the Birling company "try for the highest prices"
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Complete the sentence: At the beginning of play, everyone is c_______ and saying the _______ things.


At the beginning of play, everyone is content and saying the right things.

Card 3


Talk about Priestley's technique - dramatic irony


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


How is conflict hinted through Sheila and Gerald?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How is conflict hinted through Birling and Gerald?


Preview of the front of card 5
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