An Inspector Calls - Revision of Key Themes

Esme Harrington
Mind Map by Esme Harrington, updated more than 1 year ago
Esme Harrington
Created by Esme Harrington almost 5 years ago
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Mind Map on An Inspector Calls - Revision of Key Themes, created by Esme Harrington on 02/21/2015.

Resource summary

An Inspector Calls - Revision of Key Themes
1 Responsibility
1.1 Mr Birling believes that "a man must look after himself and his own and-" and that it is proposterous to take responsibility for anyone else except himself and his family.
1.2 The Inspector believes that we must all be more socially responsible for everyone.
1.3 Sheila and Eric take responsibility for their actions, whilst the older generation remain stubborn and overly ignorant to any wrongs they have committed.
1.4 The hiatus at the end provides a window for the audience to start taking responsibility for their actions as well as the Birling's. The disequilibrium suggests that a change is required by the audience to reform to a more socialist view, otherwise a cruel cycle could begin if they didnt take responsibility for others, as the older Birling's refused to do.
2 Social Class
2.1 Mr Birling believes that the working class are worthless and are nothing more than nameless workers.
2.2 Priestley is socialist and makes the Inspector present a socialist view, he shows the Birling's that a higher social rank doesnt make you more moral.
2.3 Mrs Birling is of a higher social class than the rest of her family, this make her believe she is better than the rest of them.
2.4 Gerald is of a higher social class than the rest of the Birling's, therefore he is given more respect by Mr Birling than to his own family.
3 Capitalism
3.1 Mr Birling's capitalist views are discredited by Priestley through the use of dramatic irony, which exaggerates Birling's ignorant hubris about war anf the titanic; "unsinkable,absolutely unsinkable".
3.2 Priestley makes it clear that capitalism is immoral, challenging the audience to change their political views, as they would have been mostly middle class and capitalist people.
4 Morals
4.1 Mrs Birling emphasises the importance of being moral and good, but she is actually one of the least moral Birling's as she can accept no responsibility for her actions and constantly scapegoats others to maintain a warped moral high ground.
4.2 The only truly moral person throughout the play is the victim Eva Smith, she constantly acts with moral integrity and Priestley has done this to highlight that socialism is moral and capitalism is not.
4.3 The Inspector is amoral to challenge the Birling's ideas.
5 Gender Roles
5.1 Sheila changes to a morally responsible and aware citizen and takes on the Inspector's role as the purveyor of social reform. This change not only challenges political ideas but also gender, as she changes from a frivolous and materialistic girl to a self-aware and responsible woman, suggesting that woman are equal to men as she is the most moral Birling.
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