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

746 words - 3 pages

Priestly criticises the selfishness of people like Birling, what methods does he use to present the selfishness?

J.B Priestly who wrote the play ‘An inspector calls’ has created a family named the Birlings who are Middle/Upper class, to represent the selfishness of people who were similar to them in 1912. Throughout the play he uses the Birlings to bring across the moral message, and his view being a socialist that people should be able to feel equal and that no class is better than the other.

The fact that this play is set in 1912, however was written by Priestly in 1945/6 shows that people such as the Birlings continued to be social superior, and have not learnt from past mistakes.
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Readers may gain more of a disliking towards Birling.

When the Inspector questions Birling about Eva Smith, he confesses that ‘she was one of my employees and then i discharged her’ as she was one of the ring leaders for those who ‘wanted the rates raised so that they could average about twenty-five shillings a week. I refused, of course’. This attitude that Mr Birling has, shows that he does not care for the working class, or the struggles they may face if not earning enough to live on. Priestly makes Mr Birling seem that he does not see what his actions can do to affect others which make him even more selfish.

Another way priestly tries to show selfishness in this play is through Sheila abusing the power which she has. Priestly has made Sheila seem spoilt as she asks for the sales assistant Eva to be sacked for being ‘Impertinent’ where actually it was because she was jealous as a dress which she tried on ‘didn’t suit’ her ‘at all’, and when Eva tried it on ‘It just suited her, she was the right...

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