Sheila / change / lower generation/ accepting responsibility
“but I was so happy tonight ”
Change She doesn’t see Eva’s a separate entity – but only to how Eva death affects her and makes Sheila feel.
This egotistical attitude is shared by her father
“there not cheap labour – they’re people”
Sheila tells her dad, this then illuminates the selfish and dismissive attitude toward others in the Edwardian period. The use of “cheap” emphasises hoe Sheila thinks her father is lacking compassion
Irony because she didn’t think of them being people with individual lives when she sacked Eva from millwards out of jealousy.
Sheila and Gerald’s relationship – Sheila is first lit by a “soft pink” light and on receiving her ring, asks “is that the one you wanted me to have. Implying a total passiveness in their relationship where Gerald wishes triumph over her own
“summer” Her passiveness is repeated when she allows her concerns to Gerald’s whereabouts during “summer” to be dismissed.
“he knows you fool” and sarcastically calling him a hero. The inspector influence transforms Sheila and she takes upon the interrogation of Gerald herself. This shift represents the change that the younger generation allows.
“it frightens me the way you talk ”
Sarcastic “I guess were nice people now ” She is a despondent and understands that she cannot undo what she has done , but is committed to the idea that the family can change . At the end she is also willing to forgive Gerald action as he was honest.
Responsibility / Sheila
“pleased with life ” At the start of the play presented through the stage directions by priestly to draw attention to the fact that she is innocent and naïve. She obviously hasn’t been exposed to any harsh realities seeing as she has grown up in a house with ” heavy looking furniture, which represents wealth.
” I guess were all nice people ” Sheila saving grace is that she learns very soon how she has contributed to the death of Eva smith
Her anger at her mother and father for their lack of responsibility is what makes Sheila a vehicle for priestly socialist aims. Priestley was aware that if society was able to change it could only be done through younger generations.
She becomes nearly as important as the inspector for driving the plot forward and become priestly second mouthpiece by challenging her parent’s mistakes instead of denying the inspector.
“mummy and daddy ”
To” mother and father” Change at the end of the play to represent how women’s life role change during ww2 as they tared to work.
Mrs birling / denies responsibility / no change
” I did nothing im ashamed of ” Mrs birling refuses to accept any responsibility
She only helps “deserving cases ” She feels that she has the authority and judgement to now who the deserving are
Since eva used her name she is angry and felt that that’s why she was not deserving.
However, Priestley present irony to reveal the father of eric. ” I think we should make confess in public ” This cold tarnish their reputation
She was oblivious that Eric was the father ; demonstrates the older generation being oblivious to the poor and the things take place at the time – like the socialist movement.
At the end she is distressed Stage direction toward Eric
“she was claiming fine scruples” At the time it was believed that the lower class was lower because of how dishonest they were and that mrs birling refused due to the fact she wanted fine scruples, however priestly revealed that she was in fact telling the truth and didn’t want stole money.
Her children are “overtire” and in the morning will be amused as her Mrs birling humorous approach to the situation after being faced with what could be the aftermath of her actions show how she has not taken any responsibility.
“a girl of that sort” Euphemistic language suggest that mrs birling thinks that by saying eva name it will be title her . Also it show her lack of compassion.
“though naturally I don’t know anything about this girl ” The word naturally shows how she beliefs that its against nature to have any interaction with this girl
Priestly presents Mrs birling as a snobbish character with little care for the lower class. This is shown by her lack of remorse to eva.
” she was claiming elaborate fine scruples that was simply absurd in a girl in her position” The “girl in her position” shows the judgemental attiude mrs birling had toward her. Also calling her a “girl” suggest that she is weak and inferior. Also a close analysis into the quote, there is a sibilance with sinister hissing noice. The snake imagery cast the audience mind to the evil snake in the garden of eden. Thi implies that priestly views her as evil. He also subtly puts a sense of capitilsm through mrs birling as going further into this quote the word chice of “elaborate” is ironic as Sybil seems to make use of a lot of “elaborate language which is used to make herself look superior to eva. This puts us on the opposing side of capitails seeing as she is such an unlikable character.
Time sequence is used by prisetlyto portray mrs birling in an immoral way. The first time sequencse can be seen as the first time they got told about the death and the second time sequence started when the second time they got told by another death. Priestly purposely leaves a gap between the two sequences as a form of a test which the birlings failed. It allowed them to have enough time to actually save eva seeing as she actually died the second time. But instead they failed to recognise responsibility and mrs birling says that she ” nothing im ashamed of” By showing her like this Prieslt urges that the younger generation need to be educated more seeing as they are more impressionable. The time sequence and telephone callsis a syumblosuim to the war. The forst call represent the ww1 and the gab in between symbolising that people could have changed, perhaps priestly was implying that if had miore soacialist vies between ww1 and 2 it could have prevented all the “blood and abuish” “I think Sheila and I better go ” Arthur birling / responsibility / upper generation
“absolutely unsinkable ” Inspector lacks social awareness which is conveyed through the sense of dramatic irony this helps undermine his character and the adverb ” absolutely” reassured how stupid he is and fails to recognise that money doesn’t make anything better- this reinforces mr birling lack of responsibility seeing ad that it is evident he is not clear of the suffering =g and those in poverty.
” man has to look after himself Birling represent capitalism , priestly wrote this in 1945 after being an officer and could be guilty that he sent innocent lives to their death
“wretched ” girl Mr birling shows no remorse what’s so ever
“heavy looking man” Giving an impression that the looks rather threatening
Priestly uses birling style of speech to undermine the audience respect for him and to cut his confidence of his “easy manner ” . He often speaks with interrupted diction. Priestly often gives him dashes when speaking. For example when referring to Gerald parent ” Sir George and – er Lady Croft ” This certainly suggest that that he not only he is socially out of his depth but also a sense of intellectual uncertainty
The overall effect is to suggest that he is intellectually weak and blusters and brags.
His stumbly manner is juxtaposed with the inspector fluency nd confidence.
Arthur opinion that men to ought to look after themselves as individuals is a strictly capitalist mentality in which owners od capital value only profit and do not care for workers.
” a man has to after himself and his family” Arthur summarizes his economic and moral worldview where society is understood as a collection of families and their personas each of which tries to maximise his or her own financial happiness
Inspector // socialist view // responsibility
To begin with the lighting was “pink and intimate” and he changes it to ” brighter and harder ” The pink can resemble the ideal existence the their Edwardian class . however priestly intentionally introduces a higher intensity of light to portray that the light often symbolises truth and purity
The birling use idioms such as “by jingo ” and euphemism when discussing thing of sexual nature such as ” women of town” Whereas the inspector adopt a more abrupt and factual tone when talking about the “disinfectant ” This allows his words to have more of an impact on the audience and means he is classes in the play and doesn’t side with the Edwardian manners which birling strives to do . – therefore Priestley is trying to show how transcend the class system which he was extremely disillusioned with.
“we don’t live alone – we are member of one body” This summarises the plays socialist philosophy. The anaphoric repetition of the plural pronoun “we” creates a sense of the inspector preaching to the audience
“fire blood and anguish” This prophetic reference not only has hellish connotations but would have been quite difficult for a post war audience as it is a clearly a reference to the war and bloodshed of millions. Whilst this speech could not be lost on an audience – priestly message of collective responsibility is delivered throughout the play especially as the younger generation begin to adopt the inspector philosophy and shows hope to the future.
Gerald // guilt
” you knew her very well, otherwise you wouldn’t look so guilty about it” Sheila encourages Gerald to come clean . It was revealed that Gerald was largely kind to Eva then breaks the relationship without any explanation
Sheila and Gerald relationship is probably the most hones and is an example of that happens when two people speak about their misdeeds.
“I respect you more than I have ever done ” Gerald does not emerge about what happened with him and eva to Sheila after what has happened – this impulse is ambiguous as it could be imply that he is trying to normalise his behaviour – or that he is embarrassed.
” I didn’t install her there so I could make love to her… I felt sorry” He tried to help her but didn’t come to the realisation what would happen when he took the help away.
Gerald is an “easy well bred man about town” who continues the ideology followed by many in 1912 The inspector points out that he thinks that “young women ought to be protected against unpleasant and disturbing things”. Here we can see that the connotation of unpleasant and disturbing convey an unsettling image. By saying that women should be “protected” against such thing, gerald is perhaps adopting the Edwardian nature where he believes that women are incapable of dealing with stuff.
– Inspector points out that gerald only believes that bourgeoise women should be looked after and not proletaries
Sheila asks if the ring was the “one you wanted me to have” in this instance the pronoun “you” with the verb “wanted” This shows how how Sheila is allowing herself to be passive at a time where wome suffarage was high
Gerlad cared for eva he says that she have him a glance that was ” a cry for help” here the “cry is symbolic of distress and the noun “help” represents vulnerability. . this shows that he was trying to be a hero . The idea of gerald caring for eva is emerged when he says she was “fresh and charming” The plethora of positive characteristic shows that he had feelings for her and didn’t intend to harm her. Alternatively it could be that he used her as a sense of amusement. However he abandoned her which the reinforces the power of men over women.
(distressed sorry I well suddenly realised – taken it in properly that shes dead ” The audience begins to wonder if he does in fact posses orality and is willing to accept responsibility.
However the idea of him possessing morality is undermined when we reach the end on the play and he is the first topoint out that its an “hoax” we get the sense that Gerald feels as if someone has just played a prank on him or perhaps he is in denial and doesn’t want to face the consequencse. The audience then begin to re think that is he just used her for his own ammusemnet. This idea continues to emerge when he offers Sheila the ring again and she says is ” everything alright now” the word”everything” shows that gerald was more concerned with getting caugt and then this then leads the audience to come to a moral dilemma where if everything id “alright” if nobody realises your mistakes. This leads to everyone loosing sympathy for him as priestly obviuosy thinks that its not alright.
He treated her as is she was an animal At the start he was like them abusing his authority over a working class girl
When all seem to forget he still seems to be upset s though his conscious is weighing about him.
” the fact remains I did what I did ” He accepts responsibility
” (unhappily ) My god – im not likely to forget Unhappily clearly shows that eric is peaking form an regretful tone and he clearly recognises his mistakes however without the clarification it might be seen that he is adopting a frustrated tone towards the inspector.
However the ” not likely ” shows an implicit awareness that he might forget contrary to the overall message for him saying he wont “forget”
His “squiffyness” allows him to say somewhat rebellious things and he challenges his father but he also seeming cared for eva and stole money to care for her This could imply that that this was an example of revolutionary force taking the unearned wealth of the bourgeois for the interest of the proletariat.
“a Through the stage directions priestly reveals that eric is in his “early twenties, not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive” The adjective “shy” connotates apprehension and nervousness which juxtaposes the implications od confidence provided by the adjective ” assertive” The contrast could display the inner turmoil that Eric experiences seeing as he is “not at ease” . Rather, priestly portrays eric as having a “half” and not a full personality. Perhaps this could be Priestly suggesting that he is more able to change throught the coarse of time seeing as he hasn’t developed a full understanding to anything. Or, perhaps it could be how eric feels abondentswith his parents. This is shown when priestly mentions that gerald “the kind of son in law” hes always wanted. This could be priestly portraying the harsh reality in the bourgeois society where parents cherish climing up the social ladder.
“why shouldn’t they try for higher wages”we try ” This is eric first piece of genuine sympathy toward eva smith
Whilst eric is siding with evasmith it is still evident from his useof pronouns that he regards her as separate to his family. This is prominent by the difference between the use of “they” to describe the lower class and “we” to describe the business, he distances himself from her and still does not associate himelf with class.
This differs form his more “squiffy” image we saw earlier.
This shows that the inspector is a catalysy and allowing eric to have the energy to challenge his father.
Eric is growing in assertiveness and his consciousness as he criticises the bourgeoisie society.
“its what happened to the girl and what we all did to her ” Eric is forced to admit that when he was drunk that he was “in a state when a chap easily turns nasty” and that he couldn’t remember the “hellish” His lack of deatails and word “nasty” enforces the impression that he forced himself one her. Although eric actions can be seen as the most disturbing he does end up showing the most remorse for what happened. ” ( nearly at breaking point” then – you killed her” in the height of dramatic tension the audience sees that eric is completely distressed .