How Does Priestley Present Social Class in an Inspector Calls? Essay

336 WordsJan 25, 20152 Pages
Set in 1912 An Inspector Calls demonstrates views and opinions of those who believed in social class. This play has a moral message that we should think of others and work together to ensure a fairer, more equal society, also known as socialism. Priestly uses characters such as the Birlings and Eva Smith to show that social class is one of the key themes in the play. Throughout, the theme of social class is shown through all of the characters; social class is most evident through the character of Arthur Birling, he is an ignorant and selfish man who's personality has clearly been effected by the money and success which he has attained. However although Arthur Birling’s earlier life is not mentioned in the play it is clear to the audience that Mr.Birling is not a member of the higher class because of his family, but simply through work and the money he has received.Differences in social class is also shown when Mr Birling says '' Giving us the port, Edna?'' it is evident from this quote that the higher class have little/no respect for the working class Mr birling is also known to be demanding as from the quote he does not ask for the port he instructs the maid to do so. The theme of social class is also shown through the character of Sheila. Sheila is a character whom takes advantage of the social standing which she holds and thinks, because of this, she has power over lower classes. This is shown in Act One when she recalls being in a “furious temper” when she was in the department store Milwards, she informs the inspector of the scene where she apparently saw Eva Smith smiling when Sheila tried on a dress. As Sheila was a frequent customer and a member of a higher class she takes advantage of the social standing and orders the store to dismiss the girl or she would “persuade mother to close their account with
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