“Public men, Mr Birling, have respects as well as privileges” What do you learn about social responsibility in the play ‘An Inspector calls’?
The play ‘An Inspector Calls’ was written by JB Priestly in 1946 but set in 1912. The play highlights the values held in society by different groups of people. The Birling family are middle class people and believe they are so thrilled about Gerald and Sheila’s engagement. They all also believe they cannot be blamed for the death of Eva Smith and try to deny any contact with her.
Arthur Birling is the main man in the family; he is the head of the house, Father to Sheila and Eric and Husband to Sybil. He is a well off business man and boasts about his advantages. “I’m talking as a hard headed practical man of business”. This is showing that he knows about his privileges and knows when to use them to try and get him and his family to get him out of trouble with the inspector. Mr Birling is a character that likes the sound of his own voice. He says many things that the audience doesn’t want to hear, such as when he starts telling them about the war and the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic. “I say, there isn’t a chance of war the worlds developing fast…The Titanic-she sails next week-New York in 5 days-Every luxury-and unsinkable”. This shows dramatic irony because we actually know that the Titanic did sink. Mr Birling leads a positive life, looks positively upon life and has faith in his country. Arthur also likes to think he is an upper class man. “I might find my way into the next honours list. Just a knighthood of course” By saying this he is showing off in front of Gerald making himself look big and clever.
Sybil Birling is Arthur’s wife. She seems like a relaxed character but is continuously debates with Arthur about when they should talk business matters. “Now, Arthur I don’t think you ought to talk business on an occasion like this”. This is showing that she cares about the business and doesn’t think that some of the situations...