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Comparison of The Attitudes Of Arthur Birling And Sheila Birling From An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

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Comparison of The Attitudes Of Arthur Birling And Sheila Birling From An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley was first performed in 1945. The play was set in 1912 before the war; it centres on the wealthy Birling family. A visit from the mysterious Inspector Goole, during the celebration of Sheila Birling's and Gerald Croft's engagement, proves to be a horrifying experience for them as they learn that they have all played a part in the suicide of a young girl called Eva Smith. From the start we see that Mr Birling is a hardheaded businessman and seems to look out for only himself and his reputation. In his speech to Gerald and Eric he tells them "a man has to make his own way-has to look after himself -and his family, of course". Now this seems to show his arrogance towards others. He is very proud and happy that his daughter is marrying into a higher class and believes he will get more respect. Sheila Birling is presented at first as a childish playful girl. She is not stupid and we know that she is very suspicious of Gerald's absence last summer. When on hearing the news, of Eva Smiths death, she is shocked. Through out the play Sheila seems aware of her parent's ignorance and at one point she tries to stop her mother doing some thing she will regret because she under stand s what the inspector is doing At the start during the dinner both of the characters are very happy and are drinking and eating. They begin to have a conversation and Mr Birling tells them that "just because the miners came out on strike, there's a lot of wild talk about labour trouble in the near future." And then he go... ... middle of paper ... ...hat help ruin the country for last twenty years. It shows that if more people reacted as Sheila had done and been sorry and regretful for your mistakes, and then maybe the War and the great depression could have been avoided. He tells us that this is what's destroying society. The message he wanted to convey was that we are all responsible for each other. When we compare these characters we see although similar at the beginning they are very different. Sheila is although, responsible for Eva Smith losing her second job, a kind person who will try and change what she's done. Mr Birling on the other hand will continue as he is stubborn and uncaring about the working class. Sheila at the end of the play now sees that we should help each other out. Mr Birling will never change and unfortunately that will be his downfall.
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