An Inspector Calls: Age

Alysia Bradley
Mind Map by Alysia Bradley, updated more than 1 year ago More Less
Alysia Bradley
Created by Alysia Bradley over 4 years ago


GCSE English (An Inspector Calls) Mind Map on An Inspector Calls: Age, created by Alysia Bradley on 05/03/2015.

Resource summary

An Inspector Calls: Age
1 The older and younger generations are deeply divided in this play.
1.1 The older generation seem to have little understanding of the younger generation. Mrs Birling in particular doesn't know her children at all. She still treats them as if they were children rather than young adults. In her mind, Eric wouldn't be a drunken womaniser b/c he's "just a boy".
2 The older generation are also very ignorant and appear stubborn by insisting they're right. They see the young as foolish. This is first seen in Act 1 when Eric expresses sympathy for the strikers - an idea which horrifies Birling causing him to put Eric down saying that he will need to "brighten his ideas".
2.1 He feels the only concerns are production costs and ignores the human side of the issue which is fair wages for the workers. He feels that this is his experience and business sense showing and he sees Eric as weak for being more enlightened and caring for his workers.
2.2 They are used to having their opinions accepted and their actions not questioned. This is why Mr Birling foolishly predicts the future despite clearly not understanding the situation at the time.
2.2.1 Mr & Mrs Birling both react badly to being questioned and comment that the Inspector is rude. They have never been forced to examine their consciences before and find they cannot do it now fitting the saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" which explains why they're so keen to forget any lessons they've learnt.
3 The old will do anything to protect themselves and keep themselves at the top of the class pyramid.
3.1 Mr Birling comments that if he granted the workers a pay rise they would soon "ask for the earth". In his mind, he'd rather say and not give them better hope for the future.
3.2 Mrs Birling lies to the Inspector when he first shows her the photograph as she wants to cover up a potential scandal.
3.3 To them both, appearances are everything with Mr Birling receiving a Knighthood. Mrs Birling is only the head of a charity b/c it will give her respect in her social circles.
4 The younger generation, exemplified by Sheila and Eric, are the opposite of their parents. Firstly, they're capable of showing empathy as they're both shocked and saddened to hear the news of Eva's death.
4.1 They're also both prepared to talk openly about what they did wrong and make no attempt to hide their part in Eva's death. The only time Eric appears to want to hide the truth is when he calls Sheila "a little sneak". This is after she has exposed his drinking to his parents.
4.2 Both Eric and Sheila show remorse about what happened and will not treat anyone in a similar way again.
4.2.1 Eric attempts to put right his wrong through risking prison by committing fraud, showing he takes responsibility. They're both open to new ideas and so Eric will be a more caring employer than his father.
4.3 Sheila seems to be able to move away from the traditional view that she should marry the best "catch" by refusing Gerald's ring back.
4.4 The Birling children have modern views and it's through them that Priestly shows hope for the future.
5 Gerald is caught in the middle, being neither young nor old.
5.1 At times he's more like the younger generation by showing empathy for Eva's death and being capable of kindness.
5.2 Yet at other times he sides with the older generation, particularly when it comes to business. He sees nothing wrong with sacking the "ringleaders" in the strike an like Birling, he believes in a prosperous future.
5.3 Ultimately, he sides with the older generation wanting to forget about what happened and carry on as before. This is perhaps b/c his aristocrat roots influence him to want to keep things as they are and protect his own interests.
Show full summary Hide full summary


An Inspector Calls: Mr Arthur Birling
Rattan Bhorjee
English Language Techniques
Bayonet Charge flashcards
English Speech Analysis Terminology
Fionnghuala Malone
English Literary Terminology
Fionnghuala Malone
How does Shakespeare present villainy in Macbeth?
Using GoConqr to study English literature
Sarah Egan
Using GoConqr to teach English literature
Sarah Egan
New English Literature GCSE
Sarah Egan
A Level: English language and literature techniques = Structure
Jessica 'JessieB
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
K d