An inspector Calls - Key Themes

Mind Map by shonarstart, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by shonarstart about 5 years ago


GCSE English Lit (An Inspector calls) Mind Map on An inspector Calls - Key Themes, created by shonarstart on 04/05/2015.

Resource summary

An inspector Calls - Key Themes
1 Responsibility
1.1 Primary theme
1.2 'responsible' and 'responsibilty' are used by most characters throughout the play
1.3 The inspector wanted each member of the family to share the responsibility of Eva's death
1.3.1 "One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness, all intertwind with our lives, and what we think say and do."
1.4 Character attitudes to social Responsibility
1.4.1 Mr. Birling "a man has to make his own way - has to look after himself - and his family too, of course when he has one..." doesn't believe that an individual has a social responsibility to others.
1.4.2 Mrs. Birling Sees social responsibility in a limited way - while she is involved with a woman's charity she has a very narrow sense of responsibility. She takes no responsibility for Eva's death
1.4.3 Eric Has some innate sense of social responsibility "wht shouldn't they try for higher wages."
1.4.4 Shelia Her sense of social responsibility is awakened throughout the play and she feels compassion for workers like Eva “But these girls aren’t cheap labour they’re people.”
2 Class
2.1 Most the characters in the play are from rich, upper classes. However, a lot can be learnt about the lower classes through the attitudes of the characters and their interactions with Eva smith.
2.1.1 At the start of the play Mr. Birling was keen to cement his social rise through Shelia’s marriage. He saw the lower classes as cheap labour.
2.1.2 Mrs. Birling is the social superior to her husband and gets embarrasses by his social gaffes. She views Eva smith as an upstart who deserves what she gets.
2.1.3 At the start of An Inspector calls Shelia is happy taking advantage of benefits of her social class and see people like Eva as beneath her.
2.1.4 Gerald is prepared to marry Shelia even though she has a lower social status then him. However he uses Eva as a mistress to be discarded as he pleases.
2.1.5 Eric feels awkward about the benefits from his social status. He sees Eva as easy sex at the end of a drunken night out.
2.2 This theme is linked closely with Priestley’s socialist views and the time periods the play is set in and written in.
3 Gender
3.1 Because of her gender Eva was in an even more vulnerable position. When the play is set women were not valued in their own right by society and did not have the right to vote.
4 Age
4.1 The old (Mr. and mrs. Birling)
4.1.1 They will do anything to protect themselves and their reputations.
4.1.2 They have never been forced to examine their actions and they cannot do this now “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
4.1.3 They are set in their ways. They are confident that they are right and the young are wrong.
4.2 The Young (Shelai and Eric)
4.2.1 Eric and Shelia examine their role on Eva’s death.
4.2.2 They accept responsibility for actions and their effects.
4.2.3 More open to new ideas. Their views change throughout the play and they express sympathy for the striking workers.
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