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An inspector calls_birling_and_sheila

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An Inspector Calls - Essay prompts

An Inspector Calls - Essay prompts


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  • 1. Compare and contrast thereaction of Arthur Birling andSheila Birling to interrogation by the Inspector
  • 2. • Introduce the novel • Talk about/ describe the characters ofIntroduction Arthur and Sheila Birling • Describe the reactions of Arthur and Sheila Birling to the inspector’sMain Body interrogation at different instances • Compare the reactions • Perhaps describe how the interrogationConclusion of the Inspector has changed them
  • 3. Arthur Birling Sheila Birling• Wealthy business man • Young• Involved in local • Pretty politics • Lively• Pompous • Selfish• Self-important • Later• Unsophisticated sympathetic, repentant• Bully and caring
  • 4. • Birling’s relaxed and pompous manner becomes aggressive as he finds himself having to defend his actions Page 13, Birling (somewhat impatiently) “Look – there’s Page 12, Birling (rather nothing mysterious – or impatiently) “Yes, yes. Horrid scandalous – about this business business. But I don’t understand – at least not so far as I’m why you should come concerned... obviously it has here, Inspector -” nothing whatever to do with the wretched girl’s suicide.” Page 14, Birling “Still, I can’t accept any responsibility. If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we’d had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn’t it.”
  • 5. • Birling has no sense of loyalty towards his workers. Birling admits that Eva Smith had good qualities, she was lively and a good worker, but he disliked her willingness to voice her opinions. Page 14, Birling “Now – about this girl, Eva Page 15, Birling “Well, Smith. ... She was a it’s my duty to keep lively good-looking girl ... labour costs down” A good worker too.” Page 15, Birling “If you don’t come down sharply on some of these people, they’d soon be asking for the earth”
  • 6. • Birling tries to use his social status to intimidate the inspector Page 16, Birling “How do you get on with our Chief Constable/ Perhaps I ought to warn you that he’s an old friend of mine...”
  • 7. • The Inspector begins to draw others into the tragedy of Eva Smith’s life and death. He attracts the sympathy of Sheila and of the audience by his clear and hard-hitting description of the girl’s misery. Page 17, Sheila (rather distressed) Sorry! It’s Page 17, Sheila “Oh- just that I can’t help how horrible!” thinking about this girl – destroying herself so horribly” Page 19, Sheila “But Page 20, Sheila’s stage these girls aren’t cheap directions: (Staring at labour – they’re him, agitated) people.”
  • 8. • Birling is more concerned that his daughter has been upset than by any feelings of guilt or shame for what they might have done to Eva Smith. He does not yet realise the depth of the family’s involvement and still feels able to be angry and outspoken towards the Inspector. Page21, Birling (staring at the Inspector angrily)Page 21, Birling (angrily) “We were having a nice “Why the devil do you little celebrationwant to go upsetting the tonight, and a nasty child like that?” mess you’ve made of it now”
  • 9. • Sheila’s regret seems genuine. Although the inspector will not accept belated regrets as an excuse, Sheila has learnt a lesson and she is determined never to act so unfairly again. Page 23, Sheila “... I Page 23, Sheila felt rotten about it (miserably) “So I’m at the time and now really responsible” I feel a lot worse.” Page 24, Sheila “... I’ll never, never do it again to anybody”
  • 10. • Birling cannot see that his Priestly shows us someone so blindly actions towards the girl wrong and never as were wrong really in control of event as he would• He feels sacking the girl is like to think he is. the right attitude for a man Based on Birling’s of business reactions, the audience notes him• He wants to protect Sheila to be a foolish, ill- tempered character. from the unpleasantness of We feel that if the the girl’s life and death, yet events were repeated he would feels no guilt for not having act just the same protected the girl herself• After the inspector has gone, he simply wants “You can’t teach an things to return to normal old dog new tricks”
  • 11. • When Sheila comes to Priestly shows us the understand her spreading influence of socialism on the younger responsibility, she is more ‘impressionable’ genuinely sorry generation who begin to condemn the prevalent• Sheila grows stronger and ‘every man for himself’ more sympathetic as the attitude. play goes on The audience understands that the• By the end of Act 1, Sheila Inspector’s interrogation is very much aware of the has had a big influence on Sheila and we begin influence of the inspector to see how Sheila bears• She understands what the much scope for change, unlike her father who Inspector is doing and remains somewhat begins to look at the world unmoved by the whole ordeal through his values rather than those of her families
  • 12. Initial Reaction Long term impactBirling Defensive, aggressive, None. When the episode not willing to accept is declared to be a hoax, responsibility. Believes he acts as if nothing has that he made the right happened. Instantly decision, and continues prepared to return to his to defend this – no old ways. loyalty towards workers and was unmoved by the inspector’s interrogation.Sheila Shocked, accepts Remains moved by the responsibility, interrogation of the remorseful, guilty. inspector and by the account of Eva Smith. Seems to have matured as person