An Inspector Calls First Generation Analysis

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How does Priestley show the differences in attitudes between the generations in An Inspector Calls? At the start of the play, the older generation is represented by Arthur Birling. He is presented as an ignorant, wealth-obsessed and close-minded man. Because he has money he believes that he is of a higher social class than they are and in Act One he says things like “find myself on the next honours list. Just a knighthood, of course.” He says this because he knows that Gerald Croft’s mother doesn’t like them because she has a higher social class and thinks that Gerald can do better for himself than marrying Sheila Birling – Arthur Birling’s daughter. Priestly has portrayed Birling in such a way that the reader doubts what he says and is weary that the things he comes out with are usually wrong. When Birling talks about the Titanic he says “unsinkable – absolutely unsinkable” Priestley uses dramatic irony here because the reader knows that the Titanic sank.…show more content…
Priestley shows that they don’t care about what they have done when Mrs Birling says “And in spite of what has happened to the girl since, I consider I did my duty.” This shows that she doesn’t think she needs to responsibility for the part she played in Eva Smith’s death. However, when they fear there will be a public scandal they say “But surely…I mean…it’s ridiculous.” Mrs Birling thinks about what she has said and when she works out that it was Eric that got Eva Smith pregnant she tries to take back what she has said and convince the Inspector she was wrong. This conveys a dislike towards the Birling family because even when it is about a girl who has killed herself Mr and Mrs Birling are more concerned in looking out for themselves instead of helping in the
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