Characters in J.B. Priestley's A View From the Bridge Essay

Characters in J.B. Priestley's A View From the Bridge Essay

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Characters in J.B. Priestley's A View From the Bridge

The two characters I have chosen to write about are Mr Birling and
Sheila. I chose these two because Mr Birling and Sheila have very
different

Characteristics. Sheila, being a much younger character, is quite
impressionable, whereas Mr Birling is not. Sheila's attitude and views
change as the story goes on, whereas Mr Birling refuses to change
altogether. Their characteristics are shown in their reactions to Eva
Smiths death, and to each other.

Mr Birling is the father of Sheila and Eric Birling and considers
himself to have a very high status in society. He is a prosperous
factory owner, a local magistrate and ex-lord mayor of Brumley. He
regards himself as being reasonable, but his first priority is to make
money "It is my duty to keep labour costs down" and therefore pays his
employees no more than the going rate. However as the play continues
further, we are shown how Sheila sees her father being exposed as a
"hard headed business man" and as an insensitive character.

The audience in 1946 were of the post war society. They would of seen
Mr Birling as their past and mistakes. Mr Birling is optimistic of the
future, yet in his speech about the titanic being unsinkable and that
there is no chance of war, the audience already know that the titanic
is not unsinkable and that there will be two world wars as they have
already experienced both tragedies.

When the inspector arrives, the reaction of Mr Birling initially
displays changes within a few moments. At first, he and Gerald joke
about the reasons for the inspector's visit, a Mr Birling probably
feels that he has n...


... middle of paper ...


... generation also the ones who will learn from
their mistakes. Mr Birling is representing the older generation, he
older generation are the ones who will not learn from their mistakes,
as the old saying goes "you can't teach an old dog new tricks".

The message that it sends the post war audience is that we change, and
start looking after everyone and not just yourself. We see this in his
"fire, blood and anguish" speech. If men will not learn that lesson,
then they will be taught it in fire, blood and anguish. That was
Priestley's main message to the post war audience; he was referring to
the world wars. Priestley was just saying that if we changed in 1912
instead of treating others like dirt and then treating yourself like
royalty. And that we could of changed and if we did the world would be
a much better place now.

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