How Mr Birling Is Presented by Jb Priestly

554 Words3 Pages
Straight away in the play, Mr Birling is shown as a pretentious, pompous, business man that looks after his own. This is shown when Eva Smith asks for a pay rise, he says, “If you don’t come down hard on these people they’ll soon be asking for the earth.” This also shows the fact that he only has interests in gaining a proportional amount of wealth and gaining social status, therefore his very own gain and no-one else’s. This is exactly what he had done to get where he is now and will continue to do so. As Inspector Goole intensifies his questioning on Mr. Birling, Mr. Birling keeps reminding him that he was Lord Mayor and keeps reminding him also of social status. This can be realised when he asks Goole ’’Do you play golf… No, I didn’t think so’’ thus showing that Mr. Birling has a strong streak of arrogance. He then begins to become agitated when the inspector keeps undermining him with his tone of voice, thus showing him that he is in fact his equal, though that is clearly not the case with social class. After the inspector has finished questioning Mr. Birling, the inspector then goes on to begin questioning Sheila whom is Mr. Birling’s daughter. Mr. Birling then tries to defend Sheila (who represents the rise of feminism) by saying ‘’I don’t think women should be getting into this kind of nonsense’’, showing us that he is an anti-feminist and thinks women should be protected and are also inferior to men. This is also proven when they ask Sheila to leave the room and stands for her rights to be there and says ‘’No... I want to hear what he has to say’’. When Mr. Birling finds out that Gerald Croft had an affair with Eva Smith, he defends him ‘’ Young men often do this..’’, this shows that he is scared of the Croft’s social superiority as he defends Gerald as the Crofts are higher up the social ladder, this also reminds us how desperate Mr. Birling is
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