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An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

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An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley In my English class I have been reading the play 'An Inspector Calls'! The play is about a fairly well-off family (the Birling's) who have their evening spoilt by having an inspector call round, to ask them questions about a girl, Eva Smith, who drank some disinfectant to kill herself. I am going to start my comparisons with the head of the house-hold, Arthur Birling. Arthur Birling is a selfish, arrogant, family man who doesn't know the meaning of the word responsibility. The play starts off with the family sat around the dining table, toasting to the daughter, Sheila's, engagement to Gerald Croft. While the girls (Sheila and her mother, Sybil) trail off to the drawing room, Arthur decides to teach Gerald something about responsibility; 'A man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own' He also has a fairly good reason as to why he thinks like this, and he tells so to the inspector; '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?' When Arthur doesn't know the full story as to why the inspector has arrived, he tries to use his importance to get his way. He threatens the inspector with the following phrase; 'I've half a mind to report you… perhaps I ought to warn you that… our chief constable… he's an old friend of mine, and that I see him fairly often' Arthur doesn't react at all to the death of Eva, and he acts as though 'such is life'. When the inspector leaves towards the end of the play, Arthur tries to think of all sorts of idea's to prove that the man wasn't an inspector at all, - proving that Arthur didn't change at all in reaction to the death of one of his former employees. Sybil Birling is Arthur's wife. She is very like her husband in being selfish, and is very unrepentant. Sybil finds out that she had
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