Compare And Contrast Inspector Goole And Authur

Birling Essay, Research Paper

Introduction In

this essay I will be talking about an Inspector calls. A well-written play by

J.B priestly in 1945. I will compare and contrast Inspector Goole and Authur

Birling, to do this I will talk about the characters in the play, the use of

dramatic irony which priestly uses within the play to maintain the audience?s

interests, how priestly builds up suspense where the play is set, and how the

play effects the audience. I will also be talking about the historical context.


Boyton Priestly wrote the play in 1945, but the actual story is set in 1912,

two years before the world war. The reason for this is to show the events which

has already happened that the audience already have knowledge of, such as the

sinking of the titanic, the outbreak of the war, this is dramatic irony. The

play ?An Inspector Calls? took two weeks for Priestly to compose, as Priestly

originally had an idea about a mysterious Inspector visiting a family. In 1944

he rediscovered his ideas for the characters of the Birling family in his

notebook, then in winter of 1944-5 he finished writing his play. There was no

London theatre available because of the 1st war performed so

priestly sent the script to Moscow where it was produced simultaneously in two

theatres in 1945. It was then produced in London the following year. John

Boyton priestly was born in Bradford in 1894 and died in 1984. He was a

socialist who believed capitalism was foolish as he represents Mr Birling to

show his hatred of the upper-class people. At them days Britain was divided

into class systems, the lower-class being the poor who worked in factorys,

cleaners,etc. and had a very little to earn in life with no way of going up a

class. The middle class being the business owners and making profit and the

upper-class being the richest. The Birling family is the middle class but MR Birling like

to think of them as upper-class as Sheila gets engaged to Gerald. Sheila is the

daughter of Authur Birling and Sybill Birling, Sheila is young and attractive,

in her early twenties and is quite impressionable. She is a sympathetic and

caring who expresses her feelings throughout the play. I think priestly uses

Sheila to keep reminding the readers of Eva?s horrible death. She is one of the

very few ?open? characters, and is able to do well as she expresses her

feelings, such as when she says, ?it?s the only time I?ve ever done anything

like that, and I?ll never do it again to anyone?. Priestly uses Sheila, to some degree, to show sensitivity

towards a girl of the lower-class. Throughout the play she is there to remind

the audience of how her family treated and spoilt the life of a young girl,

simply because she was of a lower-class. Sheila is used as a voice throughout

the play, which is obviously what priestly intended. Gerald Croft who is an attractive chap, about thirty, he

is an upper-class who?s reputation is important to him he is also uncaring

about other people in society. Eric is Sheila?s brother who is half shy and ?squiffy?

which Sheila uses to describe him. He is in his early twenties, and likes to

drink a lot. ?Could I have a drink first?? (Act three page 51) Like Sheila he

shows sympathy for Eva Smith throughout the play. ?cant blame her? Sybill Birling is about fifty she is a bit like her

husband and thinks she has a high status in society, this is shown when she

says, ?advising my committee not to allow claim for assistance.? She is uncaring and refuses to change altogether after she

finds out that the Inspector is a hoax. At the beginning of the play Sheila is selfish and excited

and eric being the same both of them are uncaring about other people while Mr,

MRs Birling and Gerald are also uncaring about lower-class people. No one knows

how they are treating the lower-class people. But at the end of play, after everyone?s guilt is revealed

for the death of Eva Smith. Everyone tries to get themselves out of trouble

while Sheila don?t, she admits her faults and appears keen and anxious to

change her behaviour in the future, ?I?ll never, never do it again?. Sheila and

Eric change and they feel sympathy for the lower-class people even though the

Inspector was a hoax while Mr, Mrs Birling and refuse to change altogether. The message conveyed to the readers is that the older

generation in this time, are only ever interested in making money and about

their position in society. Priestly shows his hatred of the behaviour and

attitudes of the ?upper-class? by choosing Mr Birling to represent such a

character. Sheila and Eric on the other hand, are left to learn from mistakes

of the older generation and ensure that they are not repeated. Authur Birling and Inspector Goole have very different

characteristics. Priestly choose Mr Birling to show that capitalism is wrong

and to show his hatred for the upper class while Priestly chooses Inspector

Goole to represent his views. Authur Birling is a ?hard headed business man? who is

heavy looking, rather portentous man in his middle fifties with fairly easy

manners but uses no slang only important words in his speech. Mr Birling considers himself to have a very high status in

society. He is a prosperous factory owner, a local magistrate an ex-lord mayor

of Brumley. He regards himself as being reasonable, but his first priority is

to make money ?it?s my duty to keep labour costs down? and therefore pays his

employees no more than the growing rate. He just wants his family to be

respected in society and so tries to encourage them to do things that will help

them to achieve an even higher status. For example he welcomes Gerald croft

into his family as he represents a business link between his firm and that of

Gerald?s father (a rival) He doesn?t really consider his daughters feelings

towards her marriage to Gerald, he just encourages it as he hopes that it will

unite his company with croft?s ltd, so that they can ?work together for lower

costs and higher prices?. This is why it appears that he regards his daughter?s

marriage as an advantage to his company, almost like a business arrangement.

Since Mr Birling is well aware that Geralds mother is against her son?s

marriage because she believes him to be marrying beneath him socially, he tries

to hint that he is expecting to receive a knighthood in the next honours list,

in the hope that this may ease the concern Geralds mother has, but Sheila ia

actually wanting to marry Gerald because she loves and trusts him not simply so

it will be an advantage to her fathers company. Birling is a man who likes to think no war, he thinks he?s

always right such as when he says ?Nobody wants war? he is wrong. And when he

says about the titanic that it is ?absolutely unsinkable? he?s wrong the

titanic does sink. And also when he says in 1940 ?there?ll be peace and

prosperity and rapid progress everywhere? he?s again wrong 2nd world

war is in 1940. These are number of dramatic devices that priestly uses to

maintain the audiences interest. These things will definitively happen and the

audience knows it. This is dramatic irony. Priestly is trying to say that upper-class

people are too busy making money and they don?t like to think something that

could happen. On the other hand Inspector Goole is a man in his fifties,

when he comes into the Birlings house, he was dressed in a plain darkish suit

of the period. He speaks carefully, weightily and has a habit of looking hard

at the person he addresses before actually speaking and has clever attitudes

which the characters in the play thinks that he already knows whatever they are

saying. He is a sympathetic character ?we are members of one body. We are

responsible for each other? and is trying to have a change in society. He

thinks there should be no class systems and everyone should be equal but Mr

Birling is completely opposite, he don?t care about lower-class people, he?s

just interested in making money for himself and his position in society.

Priestly wants the upper-class people to know how life is for the working-class

as he represents Eva Smith to do it ?both her parents were dead, so that she?d

no home to go back to and she hadn?t been able to save much out of what Birling

and company had paid her.? As priestly uses the Inspector to tell the

character?s in the play how life was for the lower-class people, priestly also

gives the audience a message. ?one Eva Smith has gone-but there are millions and

millions and millions of Eva Smiths and john Smiths still left with us?

(Inspector, act three page 57) The Inspector tries to teach the Birling family a lesson

about lower-class people by concerning everyone about Eva Smith?s suicide.

While doing this JB priestly also tries to teach the audience a lesson. Before the Inspector and Mr Birling actually first meet,

Mr Birling don?t seem to care, he probably feels he has nothing to fear because

of his high status and contacts, first he and Gerald joke about the reasons for

the Inspectors visit ?a joke really? (Gerald says, act one, page 10) But Mr

Birlings reaction changes when the Inspector begins questioning. When the Inspector and Mr Birling first meet, Mr Birling

starts of in his usual manner and begins talking about his jobs in community

and that he knows the brumley police officers very well. ?I was an alderman for

years and lord mayor two years ago- and iam still on the bench, so I know the

Brumley police officers pretty well? He says that to warn the Inspector that the knows many

people very well and he had dealings with other Inspectors before. So the

Inspector wont take things too far what ever Mr Birlings done wrong but the

Inspector don?t seem to care. ?id like some information, if you don?t mind?. The Inspector and Mr Birling seem to have few similarities

as it is shown throughout the play such as their speech, they both uses

important words not slang. But Mr Birling talks business and believes in hat he

says whereares the Inspector talks serious and knows what he?s talking about

and shows sympathy for Eva Smith but Mr Birling don?t show a bit of sympathy

throughout the play. When the Inspector reveals how Eva Smith commit suicide,

and how this was in some way elated to Mr Birling, Mr Birling refuses to accept

his responsibility and thinks that he has an honest approach to life. He once

tries to impress the Inspector by telling him about Geralds dads company ?you

know crofts limited? but as the play goes on the Inspector seems to hate the

upper-class businessmen such as Mr Birling. Mr Birling tries to justify his actions by telling the

Inspector about his refusal to listen to to Eva?s request for a wage rise ?I

refused of course? and seems genuinely surprised when the Inspector questions

his actions ?did you say why?? Mr Birling seems offended by the Inspectors

questioning and also a little bemused at the Inspectors tone of voice. He shows

how he thinks very few people are at his business level and so very few can understand

his actions. He points out yet again that he knows the chief constable. Mr

Birling mentions that he is friend with the Inspectors chief constable to

almost threaten the Inspector, although the Inspector seems to ignore this

fact. When the Inspector begins to question Mr Birling his

attitudes quickly changes. He becomes impatient with the Inspectors subsequent

questioning and again reminds the Inspector of his position in society. Throughout the play the Inspector and Mr Birling are

actually threatening each other, Mr Birling giving threats by talking about his

contacts and his position in society (but the Inspector isn?t getting scared)

while the Inspector threatening Mr Birling in his tone of voice and saying how

he?s a suspect of Eva Smiths suicide. This is shown in act three page 51 when

the Inspector says to Mr Birling ?she wanted twenty-five shillings a week

instead of twenty-two and sixpence. You made her pay a heavy price for that.

And now she?ll make you pay a heavier price still.? This shows the Inspector is

giving threats to Mr Birling ?she?ll make you pay a heavier price still.? And

Mr Birling getting unhappy and scared. He is in his usual manner about money

?look Inspector I?d give thousands-yes thousands? but the Inspector don?t mean

money ?you?re offering money at the wrong time?.what the Inspector mean by

saying this is, that ?Eva Smiths gone? and Mr Birling ?can?t do her any good

now? by paying the money. Before the Inspector leaves, JB priestly gives a

strong a message to the audience by using the Inspector to represent it, as

priestly uses Eva Smith as a lower-class girl and how an upper-class family all

helped to destroy her life, priestly says that although ?one Eva Smiths has

gone but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John

Smiths still left with us? and ?their lives, their hopes and fears, their

suffering and chance of happiness, all interwined? with the upper-class peoples

lives. And younger generation such as Sheila and Eric has to learn from the

older generations and make sure their mistakes are never repeated, while the

older generation such as Mr Birling will always be interested in making money

and will never alter their ways.Conclusion? ?Authur Birling and

Inspector Goole have very different characteristics. JB priestly choose Mr

Birling to show his hatred of the upper-class while he uses the Inspector to

represent his own views so priestly don?t make the Inspectors character very

much other than a socialist and a ?mysterious Inspector? (shown in an

introduction of ?An Inspectors Calls) Throughout the play Mr Birling and Inspector Goole are

actually threatening each other, Mr Birling is giving the Inspector threats by

telling him, while the Inspector giving threats by including Mr Birling as a

suspect of Eva Smiths suicide who started her ?chain of events?, it?s almost

like priestly he himself arguing with a capitalist who he hates, as he uses the

Inspector to represent it. Mr Birling and the Inspector seem to have few

similarities, such as their speech, they both has important words in their

speech and uses no such slang. But Mr Birling usually talks business and

believes in whatever he himself says although the Inspector knows exactly what

he?s talking about. Throughout the play priestly uses dramatic devices to

maintain the audiences interests, such as who was the Inspector, priestly makes

the audience think all through the play that, who exactly is the Inspector,

priestly makes the Inspector a ?mysterious Inspector? (introduction) Other dramatic devices which are used is, the photo, is it

the same, how is everything linked in the ?chain of events? and the setting of

the play which is all in a dining room with rosy lighting (romantic and happy

atmosphere) but changes as the Inspector steps in (?mysterious Inspector?) JB priestly also uses dramatic irony in the play, such as

when Mr Birling says ?no one wants war? and there?ll be peace all over the

world in 1940. As well as when Mr Birling talks about the titanic that it?s

?absolutely unsinkable?. These are number of things that Mr Birling says where he?s

completely wrong. The audience knows it, priestly off course does this

purposely as he continues to make a fool out off capitalism. ?? ? ?????????????? ? ?


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