This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

How Does Priestley Present Mr Birling Priestley Presents The Character Of Mr Birling As A Symbol Of The Capitalist Ruling Class And The Need For Socialist Ideals

3086 words - 13 pages

How Does Priestley Present Mr Birling Priestley presents the character of Mr Birling as a symbol of the capitalist ruling class and the need for socialist ideals.
Priestley begins by presenting Mr Birling as a successful, albeit 'hard-headed businessman'. It is clear from the stage directions which describe 'The dining room... of a fairly large suburban house, belonging to a prosperous manufacturer' that Birling is rich and materialistically successful. In terms of capitalism, he is therefore a role model in the fact that he has reached the capitalist goals of making a financial profit. Once Birling's worldy success is established, Priestley undermines his character through presenting Mr ...view middle of the document...

Socialists believe that the rich should be heavily taxed to look after the poor. In the play, this equates to rich characters such as Mr Birling taking care of poor characters such as Eva. This view is disregarded by Mr Birling as 'nonsense'. Socialists also want to see the collapse of the class system. In the play, a socialist Birling family would have cared for Eva, and Mr Birling would have acted in a radically different way. Priestley also presents Birling as egotistical. He is so pompous that he cannot help but brag about his advantageous connections, bragging that "I might find my way into the next Honours List'. The use of language is highy ironic here; when the definition of the word 'honour' is to have allegiance to moral principals, it is clear that this is not an award Birling is deserving of. Indeed, the Honours List supposedly rewards those who are committed to serving and helping Britain, and Priestley is indicating that the whole system is farcical. It is clear here that Birling cares how others view him, but does not care about other. Priestley is criticising this selfish behaviour, reminding the audience that they should respect those with honour, ideals and determination - not those who selfishly and egotistically have made a financial fortune. In order to completely vilify capitalism, Priestley presents Mr Birling not only as ignorant, but also as inherently selfish; Birling believes that 'a man has to make his own way'. This self obsessed element to his character makes the audience dislike him thoroughly and see clearly the need for a move from capitalist ideals to socialist ideals. In conclusion, Priestley uses the character of Mr Birling to criticise capitalism. Through his selfishness and ignorance, the audience cannot side with Mr Birling or the capitalist ideals that have made him so wealthy. In seeing no morality or goodness in Mr Birling, and therefore the capitalist ideals he metaphorically represents, Priestley hopes to sway the audience towards the values of socialism.

2.How Does Steinbeck Present Curley? Steinbeck presents the character of Curley as a symbol of his theme of fate.
Curley is a character who is disliked by all in the novella - even his wife who confides to a docile Lennie "I don't like Curley". Indeed, Curley's actions throughout the novella are aggressive, confrontational and judgemental: he is the archetypal villain of the piece. However, despite his lack of positive attributes, Curley has a position of authority on the ranch - as the ranch owner's son, he elicits fear even in the usually calm George who asks "Slim. Is Curley's old man gonna can us?" when Lennie hurts Curley. At first glance, the reader might be confused as to why Curley has a position of authority on the ranch, particularly when near perfect men such as 'prince of the ranch' Slim are employed...

Other Essays Like How Does Priestley Present Mr Birling Priestley Presents the Character of Mr Birling as a Symbol of the Capitalist Ruling Class and the Need for Socialist Ideals

What Methods Does Priestley Use to Present Selfishness=====

924 words - 4 pages . Priestley may be questioning what happens in a society where there are no legal requirements on pay, and the decisions are left up to the conscience of selfish men like Birling. He describes himself twice as a ‘hard-headed man of business’, but the audience is left wondering whether it is his heart that is ‘hard’. Birling’s decision not to increase the wages of his workers is made even more stark by the fact that Priestley decides to dress the

Desrcibed The Character And Personality Of Mr. Collins Of Pride And Prejudice

624 words - 3 pages respect for themselves. Mr. Collins' obsessions with formality and conventionality prove that he does not think for himself. The reason he gives for finally writing the Bennets is that he "[felt] it [his] duty" as a clergyman. Thus he is acting out of duty, believing that it is what society would want a clergyman to do. He tries so hard to conform to society fit-in that he sticks out. In his letter, he spends much of the letter "apologis[ing

How Do the Writers Mary Shelley and Robert Louise Stevenson Present the Notion of the “Monster”, in Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

783 words - 4 pages different way. Jekyll also describes Hyde’s hand as “lean, corded, knuckly, of a dusky pallor, and thickly shaded with a swart of hair”. These similarities show how Shelley and Stevenson presented ugliness as being evil. Both Hyde and Frankenstein’s monster were judged their looks and it shows how people judge people on how they look. Mary Shelley and Robert Louise Stevenson both use juxtapositions to present the notion of their monsters. Frankenstein

The Character That Changes The Most In An Inspector Calls By J.B. Priestley

1523 words - 7 pages … But don’t you see-” This proves that she is growing up in the play as she is trying to prevent her mother from speaking and that would have been deemed as unacceptable in those days. Finally, towards the end of the play, Arthur explains how it is all over and it was all a hoax, and there is no need for Sheila to be angry or upset anymore. Sheila however, disagrees, “The worst part is. But you’re forgetting one thing

Character Analysis Of Mr. Darcy In Pride And Prejudice

1063 words - 5 pages Character Analysis: Mr. Darcy Introduced to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as a tall, handsome, self-absorbed aristocrat, Darcy experiences a change in personality and character. In order to dispose of his existent views on money and marriage, Darcy needed to feel something, to fall in love. Although he was well mannered, he did not know how to treat women with respect, especially those of a lesser economic status. The love of Elizabeth

Mr Collins: Character Review

1256 words - 6 pages Bennet sisters in a marriage which would ensure that at least one daughter of Mr Bennet would remain comfortable, living at Longbourn as ‘Mrs Collins’. He does not ask to stay at Longbourn, he expects his stay to be welcomed, and even desired, by the Bennet family. “I remain, dear sir, with respectful compliments to your lady and daughter”: this quote shows how ingratiating Mr Collins is: a side of his character which the

What Contribution Does Setting Make to the Novel “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”?

1924 words - 8 pages Hyde is well spoken, but then the address shows that of a house in Soho, which is a rough and lower class part of London. It also reads 'disappearance as unexplained absence for any period exceeding three months', which creates suspense and nervousness in the reader, and wonderment to what is actually the relationship between Jekyll and Hyde. At the dinner, Jekyll says 'My position is… a very strange one'; which makes the reader curios to

The Hallucination of Mr. Butt

3905 words - 16 pages Everleigh-Joneses,—you know them? no?—just come to the city, you know, moving into their new house, out on Seldom Avenue.” “But,” I said, “that's away out in the suburbs, is it not, a mile or so beyond the car tracks?” “Something like that,” answered Mr. Butt. “And it's going on for ten o'clock and it's starting to rain—” “Pooh, pooh,” said Mr. Butt, cheerfully, adjusting his galoshes. “I never mind the rain,—does one good. As to their house. I've

The Capitalist Class

532 words - 3 pages segregation. In many high-end residential areas, the Capitalist Class will live in gated communities or in parts of the country known for its large properties. Throughout their lives, members of the upper-most layer of society tend to receive a very distinctive education. Many will be educated in private or boarding schools in prestigious neighborhoods. Most will continue their higher education at Ivy League colleges and universities or other

What Is the Importance of Danforth in the Crucible and How Does Miller Present Him

1349 words - 6 pages What is the importance of Danforth in the play and how does Miller present him? – Timed conditions: 45 minutes – took 50 minutes Danforth becomes a major character in the play even though we do not meet him until Act three, which is the pinnacle of the play. Miller uses Danforth to symbolise the blackness and corruption of this perverse justice system in Salem, which seems only to destroy innocent people in the name of God. This is a technique

The Ruling Elite And The Development Of The Middle East

636 words - 3 pages hippodromes was annihilated. If the government would have allowed the usage of the gun, the soldiers would have stood a chance. The Ottoman empire, through this new technology was able to become the largest empire in history. (Cultural Reader, 52-63)      The policies in which a ruling government imposes determines the economic development and direction of a country. As new rulers come into a country a transformation of

Related Papers

How Does The Character Of Mr. Birling Reflect British Society In 1912?

786 words - 4 pages reflects how men of authority had very little respect for women and wouldn't even call them by their names. Men considered themselves of higher jurisdiction leaving women with little consideration. In conclusion the character of Mr. Birling gives an insight into the attitudes of society (men and women) during 1912. The society had a strict class system, sexism and ignorance, as well as many people being overly power-hungry leading to many peoples demise.

Priestly Criticises The Selfishness Of People Like Birling, What Methods Does He Use To Present The Selfishness?

746 words - 3 pages Birling emphasising that he can afford such luxuries, and also a maid. This then gives the reader the idea that Birling does not care for the working class (such as Edna) as he does not continue to say ‘please’ or ‘Thank you’, as he believes that because of his class he does not have too. Edna is just one of the characters Priestly has used to show just how selfish Mr Birling is. We find that the reader may begin to feel sympathy for Edna and also

How Does Stevenson's Use Of Setting Develop Tension In The The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde

1113 words - 5 pages empty that he began ‘to long for the sight of a policeman.’ This notion of the city as a fearful landscape recurs throughout the novel. After hearing the tale of Mr. Hyde, Utterson suffers from dreams in which Hyde stalks through ‘labyrinths of lamp-lighted city,’ crushing children and whispering evil into Jekyll’s ears. In Utterson’s vision, London becomes a nightmare city, a place of terror where Hyde can perpetrate his crimes unchecked. The

How Does Robert Stevenson Build Up Our Expectations In The Story Of The Door: Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde

590 words - 3 pages numerous amounts of violence is involved when Hyde is murdering people. On the whole I understand that all the themes in the opening paragraph are included for a reason which is to help the reader expect all of these themes throughout the book. Robert Stevenson does the superbly as by reading the first chapter the reader already knows what the book includes and helps to develop the readers thoughts to what could happen further on in the story. Jack Smith