How Does Jb Priestley Present the Older and Younger Generations Differently Throughout the Play ‘an Inspector Calls’? Essay

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The older and younger generation are represented clearly from the start of the play. There are differences between the generations when concerning the characters attitudes and how much responsibility they take, this is represented, mainly when the Inspector reveals what has happened to the young girl, Eva Smith/Daisy Renton. The older generation include Mr and Mrs Birling and the younger, Sheila and Eric, whilst Gerald fits into both at different times as he is between the ages of the two groups, though he mainly falls into the older generation. Mr Birling believes that socialist ideas that stress the importance of the community are "nonsense" and that a "man has to make his own way", completely contradicting the overall message of the play and creating a character that the audience severely dislike. He cannot see that he did anything wrong when he fired Eva – he was just looking after his business interests. He wants to protect his reputation. We see that Mr and Mrs Birling are more embarrassed at being found out for their thoughtless treatment of Eva Smith rather than regretting what happened to her as a consequence. Mr Birling is more concerned with losing his knighthood than a young girl losing her life. Mrs Birling appears not to believe that someone like Eva, a 'lower class' person, could even have feelings, let alone need them taking into account. The older generation can be exemplified through their attitudes which revolve around protecting their own social status whereby they do not seem to care for anyone but themselves and their family, this can be recognised when the Inspector reveals all about Eva Smith, and their reaction to this awful death, even though they are involved, seems to be non-existent, though evidence is presented by the inspector, they still persist that they haven't participated to this death. They are completely unsympathetic towards

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