An Inspector Calls

natasha hainsworth
Mind Map by natasha hainsworth, updated more than 1 year ago
natasha hainsworth
Created by natasha hainsworth almost 5 years ago
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Mind Map on An Inspector Calls, created by natasha hainsworth on 04/25/2015.

Resource summary

An Inspector Calls
1 Characters
1.1 Mr Birling
1.1.1 Arthur seems very confident. His is head of his family and the boss of his own buisness
1.1.2 He likes to be in control and he keeps reminding everyone that he's in charge.
1.1.2.1 for example: birling doesnt want to be told what to do and 'angrily' tells the insepctor, 'well-if you dont mind-i'll find out first'
1.1.3 over the course of the play, Birlings authority is undermined. the inspector reveals birling as an ambitious anxious man who'll ignore the needs of others to keep up profits and a good reputation.
1.1.3.1 ambitious:'theres a very good chance of a knighthood'
1.1.3.2 buisness minded: 'a hard-headed, practical man'
1.1.3.3 anxious:'there'll be a public scandal-unless were lucky'
1.1.3.4 selfish: 'a man has to make his own way'
1.1.4 Buisness man
1.1.4.1 see's daughters marriage as a buisness deal and hopes it will bring lower costs and higher prices
1.1.4.2 He is very optimistic about the future. he thinks that strikes wont be a problem for his company and dismisses any fear of war
1.1.5 Social responsibility- birling dismisses the idea of social responsibility. he calls people like goole 'cranks'
1.1.5.1 wont accept his responsibility for the death of Eva Smith
1.2 Mrs Birling
1.2.1 proud of her social status
1.2.2 follows the rules of etiquette as it improves her families staus
1.2.3 she has a strong set of beliefs and rules which makes her prejudice
1.2.3.1 'as if a girl of that sort would ever refuse money'
1.2.4 she is prepared to be cruel to preserve her own status
1.2.4.1 'i used my influences to have it refused'
1.2.5 social superior to Mr birling
1.2.5.1 Sybil tells her husband off for saying the food was good in front of a guest
1.2.5.1.1 it isn't polite to mention people of a lower class
1.2.5.2 reminds her family of having better manners
1.2.5.3 doesn't let anyone boss her about especially not the inspector
1.2.6 Strict Standards
1.2.6.1 Sybil's social standards make her prejudice against people from a lower class
1.2.6.1.1 even though it was sybil herself who refused to help eva/daisy, she blames the father of the unborn child
1.2.6.1.2 he condemns her own son and demands that he should be made to pay and to confess publicly
1.2.7 Mrs Birling supports charity- but is not charitable herself
1.2.7.1 says the Brumley Women's charity only supports deserving cases
1.2.7.1.1 social responsibility- deserving was originally used to distinguish between who should be helps
1.2.8 self centred
1.2.9 dismissive
1.2.10 doesn't learn
1.3 Shelia Birling
1.3.1 Shelia is quick witted and strong minded
1.3.1.1 she hands Gerald's ring back when she finds out that he had been unfaithful
1.3.2 the year before she was very selfish and childish
1.3.2.1 used her social status to get Eva/daisy sacked
1.3.2.2 selfish: you used your power you had (...) to punish the girl'
1.3.3 however now she is very sensitive and moral
1.3.3.1 moral: 'but these girls aren't cheap Labour-they're people'
1.3.4 as the play moves on shelia grows for the better knowing the difference between right and wrong and even questions her own family
1.3.4.1 tells her mother of Eric's drinking problem
1.3.4.2 out of character for a child in 1912 to question olders
1.3.4.3 shes socially aware that men like alderman Meggarty use prostitutes
1.4 Eric Birling
1.4.1 Eric's isolated from the rest of his family
1.4.2 irresponsible as cant remember himself getting with the girl
1.4.3 sensitive: 'my God-i'm not likely to forget'
1.4.4 an alcoholic: 'i was in a state when a chap easily turns nasty'
1.4.5 hints are dropped by Priestley throughout the play to show Eric isn't all right
1.4.5.1 odd behavour foreshadows the disruption and threat later
1.4.6 hides dirty secrets which shows the dark side of the family life
1.4.7 Eric is not the only one who has a bad side however he is the only on eto be found out
1.4.7.1 theme of judgement
1.4.7.1.1 Gerald treats eva as his mistress and ends the affair his reputation is not damaged.
1.4.7.1.1.1 but Eric goes on to steal money and get her pregnant which brings scandal to the family
1.4.8 Eric is a villain and a victim
1.4.8.1 Birling seems disappointed in his son, and gets on better with Gerald.
1.4.8.2 he's the obvious villain but he accepts his repsonsibility
1.5 Gerald Croft
1.6 The Inspector
1.6.1 Takes charge
1.6.1.1 unexpectedly arrives
1.6.1.2 he says he's there to ask some questions
1.6.1.3 leaves after delievering a speech on social responsibility
1.6.1.4 described as a authorative and imposing.
1.6.1.4.1 authorative: 'all in good time'
1.6.1.4.2 mysterious: ' was it a hoax?'
1.6.1.4.3 moral: 'we don't live alone. we are members of one body'
1.6.2 driving force of the play
1.6.2.1 starts off by summarising the events: 'suicide,of course'
1.6.2.2 forces information out of characters by bluntly saying what the other characters are trying not to say
1.6.2.3 reveals new infromation increasing the tension
1.6.3 Language
1.6.3.1 uses emotive language to stir things up
1.6.3.2 uses personal language to make characters feel guilty and raise the theme of social responsibility
1.6.3.3 he does not take some answer and follows up with questions
1.6.4 From a different world
1.6.4.1 he is not impressed by Mr birlings profile
1.6.4.2 he talks about subjects like sex and politics which the Birlings would never talk about as it may affect their social class
1.6.4.3 he does not follow the etiquette that Mrs birling does as he interrupts, repeats and puases in ways which were not normal in middle class society
1.6.4.4 Could be consider more that a police officer as he represents the police and courts by finding out the truth
1.6.4.5 inspector is a joke with the name goole sounds like ghoul relating to a ghost or could represent the spirit of a religious figure
2 Themes
2.1 Britain in 1912
2.1.1 divided by class- those who had the most money had the most power
2.1.2 Only men who owned property could vote. women did not have the right and were controlled by their husbands
2.1.3 There was not much governement help for people. this is why charities like Mrs birlings were so important
2.2 Britain in 1945 (when priestley wrote the play)
2.2.1 britain was still divided by class, however men and women over 21 got the vote, which meant power was shared evenly
2.2.2 From 1930 an economic depression hit many British industries, which caused an increase in unemployment
2.2.3 Socialism and left wing ideas become moree popularas it called for more equal sharing out of wealth and power
2.3 Family
2.3.1 Expectations of middle class families in 1912
2.3.1.1 family members were expected to know there role and be content with their position
2.3.1.2 Parents were incharged and children expected to be obedient and unquestioning
2.3.1.3 Men were expected to work to support their family and protect their wives and daughters
2.3.1.4 Women were expected to marry into money so they didnt have to work and plan parties , visit friends and have children
2.3.2 working class families
2.3.2.1 women were expected to have jobs , many worked in factories or as servants
2.3.3 The Birling family
2.3.3.1 want everyone to believe they are the perfect family
2.3.3.2 roles are clearly defined
2.3.3.3 Mrs Birling keeps correcting the families social mistakes
2.4 Social Class
2.4.1 class puts across the message of social responsibility
2.4.2 working class- hard jobs and earns very little money
2.4.2.1 Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton
2.4.3 Middle Class-Owned factories, had money and control
2.4.3.1 Birling Family
2.4.4 Upper Class- inherited loads of land and money , were often lords or ladies
2.4.4.1 Gerald Croft
2.4.4.2 did not question the class system as it worked for them
2.4.5 The birlings believe Class is all the matters
2.4.5.1 Mr Birling uses Gerald to promote his social class, and hints hes expecting a knighthood. He sees his daughters marriage as an oppurtunity to increase his status
2.4.5.2 Mrs Birling is the leading member of the Brumley women's organisation which is to give money to the desperate but shes only involved for her social class
2.5 Social Responsibility
2.5.1 Characters Views are challenged
2.5.1.1 Birling- thinks community responsibility is nonsense. The interests of buisness ismore important than workers right
2.5.1.2 Mrs Birling- believes that they have no responsibility to the working class
2.5.1.3 Shelia- realises getting Eva/daisy sacked out of spite was irresponsible but she didnt do anything at the time. the inspector challenges her to improve her behaviour
2.5.1.4 Eric- realises too late that his selfish actions were responsible for ruining eva/Daisy's chances of improving her life
2.5.2 Main focus of the Inspector
2.5.2.1 His final speech is clear and to the point- summarising the lesson of responsibility
2.5.2.2 The inspector aim is not to make The Birling family guilty its to make them aware of the difficulties faced by the lower classes
2.5.3 Priestley's moral seems to be that it doesnt take great people to change the world as we change it every day
2.6 Judgement
2.6.1 morality plays
2.6.1.1 morality plays were religious plays written in the middle ages. they tried to teach people how to behave
2.6.1.1.1 An inspector calls follows the same idea, that they need to learn about other classes and how they all played a part in Eva Smiths death
2.6.1.1.1.1 the inspector plays the part of representing the moral judge
2.6.2 Shelia picks up on something odd about the inspector and questions it all along
2.6.3 unbelieveable that the inspector would know so many details
2.6.4 Geral, Mr and Mrs Birling believe it to be a hoax
2.6.5 Eric and Shelia hold true to their moral instincts- even when they are given an opportunity to pretend it never happened
2.7 learning about life
2.7.1 Birling sneers at Eric's private education and the younger generation who 'know it all' because he's worked his way up and doesnt believe they can be smarter
2.7.1.1 This arrogance is the reason Birling is stubborn believe no one lower than him has any use to tell him except Gerald due to his high class
2.7.2 Mr Birling, Mrs Birling and Geralds arrogance prevents them from changing. they dont believe the way they acted was in the wrong
2.7.3 The inspector has more of an effect on Shelia and Eric, who are ashamed of their behaviour
2.7.3.1 Shelia does not jusr change her views but her personality- at the beginnin
2.7.4 the older generation do not think of troubling situations
2.7.4.1 e.g prostitution-' i see no point in mentioning the subject' Mrs Birling
2.7.4.1.1 Drinking-'it isnt true' Mrs birling when erics habit is revealed
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