Inspector calls-themes

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What are the four main themes of an inspector calls?
social responsibility , age , gender , class
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The consequences of the Birlingss actions highlight?
Priestley’s ideas on social responsibility - do we look after one another in society?
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The difference between the younger and older characters' reactions to Eva Smith's death shows ?
shows how Priestley viewed different generations .
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He viewed the younger generation as hope for the future because?
this is why both Sheila and Eric learn a lesson from the Inspector.
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How the male characters behave towards the females in the play highlights?
important points on gender and inequality.
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Class issues are also dealt with by having a middle class family invloved in ?
death of a working-class girl
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J B Priestley explored these themes in a lot of his work.
They are political in nature and are still relevant today.
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Where and when as inspector calls performed?
An Inspector Calls was first performed in the UK just after the end of World War Two, in 1946.
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It was a big change in Britain and what were writers concerned about?
many writers were concerned with the welfare of the poor.
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What was i like at the time?
At that time there was no assistance for people who could not afford to look after themselves.
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What did Priestly want to then do?
Priestley wanted to address this issue.
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He also felt that if people were more considerate of one another, it would?
it would improve quality of life for all.
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This is why?
This is why social responsibility is a key theme of the play.
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Priestley wanted his audience to be?
responsible for their own behaviour and responsible for the welfare of others.
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In An Inspector Calls, Priestley explores social responsibility through?
the treatment of Eva Smith ,how each character does or doesn’t take responsibility for their behaviour ,the Inspector's lessons
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How does Priestley show Sheila feels socially responsible?
Sheila is shocked when she learns that she had a part to play in Eva’s death.
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Evidence?
"All right Gerald, you needn't look at me like that. At least I'm trying to tell the truth. I expect you’ve done things you’re ashamed of too."
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Analysis?
Sheila takes responsibility for her actions and tells the truth. Gerald is being judgemental of her even though he has not yet taken responsibility for his own actions.
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How does Priestley show Mr Birling does not feel socially responsible?
Mr Birling refuses to take any responsibility for Eva Smith’s death.
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Evidence?
If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we'd had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn't it?"
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Analysis?
Mr Birling dismisses the idea that we should be responsible for each other, suggesting that such a situation would be 'awkward'.
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How does Priestley show Eric feels socially responsible?
Eric shows that he takes responsibility for his actions in the final act of the play.
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Evidence?
"I don't see much nonsense about it when a girl goes and kills herself. You lot may be letting yourselves out nicely, but I can't. Nor can mother. We did her in all right."
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Analysis?
Eric clearly shows that he has a sense of social responsibility. Whilst Gerald and Eric's parents are enjoying being in the clear, Eric still takes the matter of Eva's death very seriously. He is even brave enough to tell his mother that she should f
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How does Priestley show Mrs Birling does not feel socially responsible?
Sybil Birling will not take any responsibility for the death of Eva Smith even after she has been questioned by the Inspector
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Evidence?
"I should think not. Eric, I'm absolutely ashamed of you."
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Analysis?
n telling Eric that she is ashamed of him she shows that she has learned nothing from the Inspector’s investigation. The audience would know that she is in no position to be questioning the behaviour of anyone else given her own treatment of Eva Smit
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How does Priestley show The Inspector's lessons?
When the Inspector is questioning the Birlings.
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Evidence?
"It's better to ask for the earth than to take it."
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Analysis?
Here the Inspector is suggesting that it is socially irresponsible to be greedy and 'take' things without permission. This is a practice the privileged Birlings would be used to.
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How does Priestley explore the theme of social responsibility in An Inspector Calls?
Eva Smith dies because no one takes responsibility for their actions against her. Sheila and Eric develop a sense of social responsibility during the course of the play. Mr and Mrs Birling do not develop any sense of responsibility and are made to lo
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Age is an important theme in An Inspector Calls because?
Priestley uses it to show how he believed that there was hope in the younger generation's ability to learn and change.
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The older characters' opinions and behaviours are stubbornly fixed. Mr Birling refuses to learn and?
Mrs Birling cannot see the obvious about herself and her children.
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Eric and Sheila however are younger and they?
accept their mistakes and offer the chance for a brighter future.
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In An Inspector Calls, Priestley explores the theme of age through?
Sheila and Eric's response to Eva's death , Mr and Mrs Birling's response to Eva's death , how the older characters perceive the younger ones
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How does Priestley show Sheila and Eric?
Eric stands up to his parents when it becomes clear that they will not take responsibilty.
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evidence?
"You’re beginning to pretend now that nothing’s really happened at all."
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Analysis?
Despite hearing about all the misfortune that Eva Smith has suffered, Mrs Birling is unmoved and stubbornly stands by her decision to turn Eva away.
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How does Priestley show Older Vs younger?
Mr Birling turns on his son Eric and nearly attacks him physically.
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Evidence?
"Why, you hysterical young fool - get back - or I'll -"
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Analysis?
Mr Birling implies here that Eric is a 'fool' because he is young. Ironically, it is the older Arthur who nearly resorts to physical violence.
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How are the younger Birling’s, Sheila and Eric, different to their parents in An Inspector Calls?
Mr and Mrs Birling are both unrepentant about their involvement in Eva's death. Sheila and Eric develop a sense of social responsibility during the course of the play. Sheila and Eric are ashamed about their involvement in the death and are desperate
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As many British men went away to fight during the war, their positions in work had to be filled by ?
women.
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This helped change?
existing perceptions.
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Men had to acknowledge the fact that women were?
just as capable as them
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As a result of this, many women enjoyed a newfound ?
freedom that working and earning money allowed them.
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Not all men saw this change in attitude as a good thing and?
stayed stuck in the past.
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Priestley explores the impact of these new gender roles through?
the independence of Eva Smith and the sexist attitudes of Mr Birling.
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In An Inspector Calls Priestley explores the theme of gender through?
how Mr Birling and Gerald Croft view women ,how Mrs Birling treats Eva Smith ,how Eva Smith is portrayed as independent and outspoken before her death
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How does Priestley show How Mr Birling refers to women?
When Mr Birling is telling Eric and Gerald about women's attitudes towards the clothes they wear.
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Evidence?
"...not only something to make 'em look prettier - but - well, a sort of sign or token of their self-respect."
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Analysis?
Mr Birling shows that he has a patronising view of women, making the suggestion that clothes are a sign of self-respect for them. He has a stereotypical view of women here and does not see them as individuals but suggests that all women think in the
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How does Priestley show How Gerald refers to women?
Gerald makes sexist and superficial comments about the women in the bar he visits.
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Evidence?
"I hate those hard-eyed dough-faced women."
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Analysis?
Gerald shows that he ca n be very superficial in his view of women. If they don’t meet his standard of how they 'should' look, he dislikes them.
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How does Priestley show How Mrs Birling treats Eva Smith?
When Mrs Birling suggests that Eva is incapable of having feelings.
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Evidence?
"She was claiming elaborate fine feelings and scruples that were simply absurd in a girl in her position."
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Analysis?
Priestley shows that even women like Mrs Birling can be just as cruel and old fashioned as the men are. She does not try to empathise with a member of her own gender. This also highlights her negative attitude towards the working class
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How does Priestley explore ideas about gender in An Inspector Calls?
Eva Smith is a modern woman - she is independent and fights for her own rights and those of others. Mr Birling is very patronising about women, claiming that they couldn’t organise a proper strike and makes sweeping statements about how they love clo
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Before World War Two, Britain was divided by ?
class.
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What were the two types?
Two such classes were the wealthy land and factory owners and the poor workers.
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The war helped?
The war helped bring these two classes closer together
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And raioning meant?
that people of all classes were eating and even dressing the same.
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he war effort also meant?
that people from all classes were mixing together. This was certainly not the case before.
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Priestley wanted to highlight?
that inequality between the classes still existed and that the upper-classes looked down upon the working-class in post-war Britain.
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In An Inspector Calls, Priestley explores the theme of class through the treatment of working-class Eva Smith by the wealthy Birlings and Gerald Croft when she is in the following situations:
when she is a factory worker, when she works in a shop, when she is effectively homeless, when she is potentially a single mother
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How does Priestley show Mr Birling's opinion of the working class?
When Mr Birling discusses how he sacked Eva Smith after she had gone on strike.
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Evidence?
"If you don’t come down sharply on some of these people, they’d soon be asking for the earth."
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Analysis?
Mr Birling feels that it is his responsibility to come down 'sharply' on 'these people'. Priestley wanted the audience to realise that this is the wrong attitude to have, we should be looking after 'these people' not punishing them.
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How does Priestley show The behaviour of the Birlings' friends?
When Gerald tells the Birlings about the behaviour of Joe Meggarty.
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Evidence?
"He's a notorious womaniser as well as being one of the worst sots and rogues in Brumley."
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Analysis?
Joe Meggarty is an 'Alderman' or a council member. The rest of the family is shocked to hear that he is a 'sot' (another word for a drunk), and a womaniser. Much to the Birlings' surprise, their upper-class friends can behave badly.
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How does Priestley show Mrs Birling’s opinion of the working class?
When Mrs Birling is discussing the moment when Eva approached her charity.
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Evidence?
"As if a girl of that sort would ever refuse money!"
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Analysis?
Mrs Birling refers to Eva Smith as a 'girl of that sort'. She clearly has preconceptions about working-class girls suggesting that they lack morals and will always take money.
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How does Priestley use Eva Smith to explore ideas about class?
As a factory worker Eva asks for higher wages and is sacked by Mr Birling. When Eva works as a shop assistant she is sacked following an unnecessary complaint from Sheila. Gerald looks after her when she has nowhere to stay, but dumps her when he no
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What does unrepentant mean?
Being without remorse or regret.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The consequences of the Birlingss actions highlight?

Back

Priestley’s ideas on social responsibility - do we look after one another in society?

Card 3

Front

The difference between the younger and older characters' reactions to Eva Smith's death shows ?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

He viewed the younger generation as hope for the future because?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How the male characters behave towards the females in the play highlights?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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