Birling Family

The following sample essay on following academic paper highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of Birling Family. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed. Whilst reading ‘An Inspector Calls’ I had analyzed many things. One thing I had noticed the most, was how members of the Birling family, had very different reactions to the death of Eva Smith. The Birling family’s attitudes towards guilt and responsibility could have been very unlike for a number of factors.

During this essay, I am going to study the words and actions of the Birling family and try to link this to the attitudes towards guilt and responsibility felt at the time of the play. The play is written and set just before World War 1 in an upper class family. At the beginning of the play Mr Birling is having a celebration engagement party for his daughter Sheila who is to be married to Gerald. You shortly come to a conclusion that the family is very wealthy, by description of the setting and words and actions of the characters.

“All five are in evening dress of the period. ” The tone is very light hearted and everyone seems to be getting on brilliantly. Sheila’s engagement to Gerald means a lot to Arthur Birling. The marriage means Birling would hopefully be able to work with Gerald’s dad in business. “Working together- for lower costs and higher prices.

I Was Awfully Busy At The Works All That Time

Mrs Birling also feels the marriage is important because Sheila is marrying into a higher social status and a very wealthy family.

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Mr Birling describes this as “one of the happiest days of my life. ” This tone dramatically changes with the unexpected arrival of Inspector Goole. The Inspector questions the family members about a young girl called Eva Smith committing suicide. Every one had taken part in pushing Eva Smith to her death. However, they all acted in very different ways. Mr Birling is a very proud but self-centered and ignorant business owner. “I was an alderman for years- and Lord mayor two years ago. He tries to win the inspector to his side in this way by offering him port and with talk about having been a mayor, playing golf with the Chief constable and introducing Gerald as of Crofts Limited. Birling soon begins to dislike the inspector as he does not take any notice of the family’s wealth and status. When the inspector Goole mentions that he gave Eva smith the sack he thought nothing of it. As far as he was concerned, what he did was perfectly acceptable. “I consider this uncalled-for and officious. ” After dealing with Mr Birling the Inspector goes to talk to Sheila. Sheila is “a pretty girl”, who is thoughtful and honest. However at times she also showed she can be hot headed. The Inspector shows the photograph of Eva Smith to Sheila. Sheila acted very violently to the photograph as she” Gives a half- stifled sob, and then runs out. ” This just shows that Sheila recognized the photograph and felt very guilty for what she had done. “It was my own fault. ” Sheila speaks honestly and accepts the responsibility for what she did to Eva. Sheila finds it relatively to relate to Eva smith. This was because they were both young pretty girls who had just been led down different turns in life. “If I could help her now I would. ”

Gerald comes across to be quite easy going. You can see why the Birling’s want him to marry Sheila, as he is “the well-bred young man-about-town. ” However as you find out later on in the book, he is also very deceptive and secretive. “I was awfully busy at the works all that time. ” Gerald attempts to lie to the inspector and Sheila at first; however he immediately gives himself away by “pulling himself together” and getting himself a drink after the news. Even after giving himself away, Gerald still only tries to satisfy the Inspector and Sheila, by only giving them small pieces of information instead of the whole truth. All right. I knew her. Let’s leave it at that. ” Gerald however, is the only one who actually showed affection towards Eva Smith. He showed care and became distressed when he found out Eva Smith (or Daisy Renton as Gerald knew her) was dead. In some ways Gerald is like Mr Birling. Mr Birling doesn’t think about what he has done, but tries to hide it and prevent a public scandal. Gerald became distressed at the death of Daisy Renton, but at the end of the book this is all forgotten and he is worried only about himself and his own reputation.

Gerald has not listened to the inspector’s lesson and along with Mr Birling, he thinks everything can go back to normal. Mrs Birling is oblivious to what is going on around her. She is cold, distant and stubborn. “Please don’t contradict me like that. ” Mrs Birling thinks very highly of herself and even though she works at a ladies charity; she believes her superiority gives her the right to look down on the lower class. “Girls of that class. ” Mrs Birling became prejudiced of Eva Smith, and felt no guilt in refusing to help a girl like that. “But I think she had only herself to blame. In the end, we see her reaction to all these events. Firstly, before the inspector leaves she finds out the truth about Eric, and shows the least composure since the beginning of the play. “Distressed, shakes her head but does not reply. ” Mrs Birling soon gathers composure when she realizes that it might have been a hoax. Sheila said that they “began to learn but then stopped. ” Mrs Birling goes right back to the way she was before. She looks down on her children and the lower classes, and has clearly not learned anything from the past events. “In the morning they will be as amused as we are. ”

Eric comes across as being “silly and wild and drinking too much. ” He is a heavy drinker, but his parents are completely unaware of this problem. From the beginning, when the inspector first tells the family about a girl who killed herself, Eric involuntarily shouts out “My God! ” From Eric’s actions right from the start of the book, we start to get the impression that he has been up to something. This shows that Eric was still feeling very guilty about what he had done. When the inspector starts asking Eric questions he goes on telling a vague story confirming that he did get Eva Smith pregnant and did steal money. Eric try’s to blame responsibility onto other “then you killed her. ” . There are no excuses for what at Eric did however at least he has admitted the truth that he was wrong, and knows that the important thing wasn’t the money or a scandal, but Eva. “The money’s not the important thing. It’s what happened to the girl and what we did to her that matters. ” His parents did not act as badly, but they have not been able to learn this lesson. In conclusion, the Inspector is successfully used as a mouthpiece to convey Priestley’s message about society. The inspector makes readers realize we should try our best to help people like

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Birling Family. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Birling Family
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