Saturday, July 20, 2019

Characters of An Inspector Calls Essay -- An Inspector Calls J.B. Prie

Characters of An Inspector Calls The inspector arrives at the Birling's house in the evening, during a family get-together to celebrate the engagement of their daughter to Gerald Croft. The inspector questions every member of the family individually, starting with Mr. Birling. Mr & Mrs Birling who do not like the way the inspector is interrogating them, get angry with him, and accuse him of being rude. However Sheila, Mr & Mrs Birling's daughter, and Gerald are honest, and can face their mistakes. This is one of the reasons why I like Sheila and Gerald, and dislike Mr & Mrs Birling. Sheila is a young and pretty girl, who is honest and likes it when other people are truthful. We know this because when the Inspector shows her the photograph of Eva Smith, she says, "You knew it was me all the time, didn't you?" Here she admits straightaway that she had a part to play in the death of Eva Smith. Unlike Mr & Mrs Birling who put up excuses every time the Inspector catches them out. As I have said before she also likes it when other people are sincere. We know this because when the Inspector is questioning Gerald about his affair with Eva Smith he asks him if he was in love with her. At first Gerald hesitates to come out with the truth but when he gets persuaded by Sheila to tell the truth he says, "All right-I did for a time. Nearly every man would have done." Sheila's reply to that is "That's probably about the best thing you've said tonight. At least it's honest." Sheila objects to her parents attempts to protect her from unpleasant truths; I'm not a child, don't forget. I've a right to know.' At the end of the play she feels that, whilst for a time it had seemed as though her parents had learnt something ... ..., because the girl was 'giving herself ridiculous airs' and 'claiming elaborate fine feelings'. Mrs. Birling tries to use her husband's social position to threaten the Inspector, she says to him, 'You know of course that my husband was Lord Mayor only two years ago and that he's still a magistrate,' the Inspector already knows this and Mrs. Birling is confused when this tactic fails. When the Inspector has left, Mrs. Birling forcefully criticises the others for not standing firm against someone who is their social inferior. She argues that if she had been present when the Inspector first arrived, she would have dealt with his cheekiness severely. It is difficult to decide whether, at the end of the play, Mrs. Birling has learned to behave in a compassionate or caring way in the future. Perhaps the Inspector's call has only served to harden her attitudes.

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