1.2 'responsible' and
'responsibilty' are used by
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
1.4.1 Mr. Birling
188.8.131.52 "a man has to make his own way
- has to look after himself - and
his family too, of course when he
184.108.40.206.1 doesn't believe that an
individual has a social
responsibility to others.
1.4.2 Mrs. Birling
220.127.116.11 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
18.104.22.168 Has some innate sense of social responsibility "wht shouldn't they try
for higher wages."
22.214.171.124 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.”
2.1 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
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
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.
4.1 The old (Mr. and
4.1.1 They will do anything to protect themselves and their
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.
Young (Shelai and Eric)
4.2.1 Eric and Shelia examine their role on
4.2.2 They accept responsibility for actions and
4.2.3 More open to new ideas. Their views
change throughout the play and they
express sympathy for the striking workers.