How Does Priestly Present the Ideas About Responsibility in an Inspector Calls?

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Arthur Birling says, “If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we’ had anything to do with, it would be very awkward wouldn’t it?” How does priestly present the ideas about responsibility in an inspector calls? In an inspector calls Priestly tries to present the ideas of responsibility through the inspector. When the doorbell rings Arthur Birling is in the middle of a speech about responsibility, “You’d think everybody has to look after everybody else, as if we were all mixed up like bees in a hive” The doorbell is interrupting Mr birling just as we have seen the inspector do many times, as if he is the one shaking up the bee hive. It’s ironic that the inspector stands for taking responsibility of others while Mr birling was just talking about how they shouldn’t take responsibility for people. “We hear a sharp ring of a doorbell.” The doorbell sound is sharp and cutting and silences Mr Birling’s speech, just as Priestly plans to silence his views. The “sharp” doorbell should shock the audience and they should stand to attention as they would want to know what’s about to happen, the doorbell could also relate to the sharp tongue of the inspector. I believe that Mr birling and the inspector show the most contrast between characters in the play. The inspector on one hand stands for socialism, having a social and moral compass, taking responsibility for others and sharing wealth, while Mr Birling shows capitalism which is to look after yourself and to not take any responsibility. Through the play the Inspector/Priestly tries to change Mr Birling/the audience’s minds about how they should treat others. The play is a way that Priestly gets his political views across. When Mr Birling was asked about Eva smith he said he knew what he had done but he didn’t feel any sympathy for the girl, “I can’t accept any responsibility.” Even though he knew
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