Theme Of Birling In An Inspector Calls

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This is a A Grade essay :) Q: How does Priestley present contrasting views of Birling between the scene when the inspector arrives, and later in the play? The opening extract shows Mr Birling in an increasingly bad light. In keeping with the mood of celebration at the dinner, priestley shows that Birling's initial greeting of the Inspector is warm enough as he is 'still on the Bench' and as a magistrate sometimes has to sign warrants for the police. His assumption about the warrant allows Birling to act like someone enjoying the power of being in a superior position, placing the Inspector in a role of adjectives to describe his way of speaking and behaving - i.e ''Impatiently'', ''restlessly'''. However, he is surprised to learn the true reason for the…show more content…
Other characters also help build a picture of Birling in the opening section. Eric's defense of the workers brings about a vicious verbal attack from Birling which pours scorn on Eric's lack of business experience and reveals his bitter feeling towards "public-school-and-Varsity" education. Priestley suggests he resents the advantages enjoyed by his son's generation and this helps the audience understand why later Eric says that Mr Birling is "not the kind of father a chap would go to when hes in trouble". At this point, Priestley has provided a picture of a self-important man who places his faith in technology and industry, who believes he can enjoy the rewards granted by the community while declaring that community spirit is "nonsense" and that a man has to "mind his own business and look after himself and his own". Yet Eric, at this start of the Inspector's chain of events' has already challenged his father's views, and later Sheila will do the same by recognising a shared humanity with the
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