Mind Map on An Inspector Calls, created by niamh.parris on 04/25/2013.
An Inspector Calls
1.1 Inspector Goole
"A man of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness" - Imposing figure who dominates the play in order to achieve his aims.
"One person and one line of enquiry at a time. Otherwise there's a muddle" - Orderly, methodical, Priestley can build up a chain of events.
"It's my duty to ask questions" - takes his responsibilities seriously.
"He never seemed like an ordinary police inspector" - Unusual, but could mean that he was almost superhuman.
1.1.1 Ghoul - morbid interest in death
126.96.36.199 Existence as a result of the girl's death?
1.1.2 Always remains solid and
intact as others crumble
1.1.3 Acts as a catalyst, others
given possibility to own up
1.1.4 Seen as an outsider: omniscient,
1.2 Arthur Birling
"Heavy-looking, rather portentous man" - Mr's Birling's size gives him a threatening appearance.
"a hard-headed practical man of business" - Thinks of himself as a good businessman, and does not let sentiment or morals hold him back.
"Yes, my dear, I know - I'm talking too much" - Knows that he monopolises conversation but does not care. Has a high opinion of his own importance.
"I'm a public man" - He expects respect as he has been a member of the town council, Lord Mayor and a magistrate.
1.2.1 Becomes concerned about
scandal - not Eva's harm
1.2.2 Sees himself as an important man in Brumley
1.2.3 Prepared to use his reputation
and powerful friends to
intimidate the inspector
1.2.4 Clear views that do not change
188.8.131.52 Older generation with Mrs Birling
184.108.40.206 Stubborn, ignorant
1.2.5 Prepared to pay thousands of
pounds if he could to protect his
1.2.6 Represents what socialists,
e.g. Priestley, thought was
wrong with society
1.2.7 Man with power, money and social position (but no sense of justice.)
1.2.8 Boastful, aware of flattering those of
social superiority (brown-nosing)
1.2.9 Ignorance shown through Dramatic irony
220.127.116.11 Said that the Titanic was "unsinkable"
18.104.22.168 Said that was not going to happen
1.3 Mrs Birling
"A rather cold woman" and "her husband's social superior" - Not friendly or affectionate. She looks down on most people and expects the Inspector to be respectful towards her.
"Please don't contradict me like that" - Believes that only her opinion counts and is used to being listened to and having her way.
"It's disgusting to me" - Even though Gerald comes from a 'good' family, she still believes that his affair is wrong.
"The most prominent member of the committee" - Most powerful and respected with the most influence. She can have her way easily therefore.
1.3.1 Treats the Inspector as her inferior
1.3.2 Used her influence to
tell the charity not to
help the pregnant girl
22.214.171.124 Look good in society
1.3.3 Blames the girl's
death on the father
of the child (Eric)
1.3.4 Charity work - contradictory
1.3.5 Lacks understanding of other people
126.96.36.199 Pretends to help
others but still looks
down on most people
188.8.131.52.1 "A girl of that sort"
184.108.40.206 Unaware of Eric's
1.3.6 Untouched by the Inspector's
questions - no compassion
220.127.116.11 Only flustered once
her reputation could
be altered (Eric as
1.3.7 Says that Eric's affair is "disgusting" but forgets it
once the threat of scandal has been removed
18.104.22.168 No compassion - only
bothered about society
1.4 Sheila Birling
"Oh - how horrible! Was it an accident?" - Shocked and so therefore compassionate/ more caring. Naive as she cannot imagine anyone wanting to drink bleach - cannot imagine a worse situation than her own.
"I wouldn't miss it for worlds" - Bitter about Gerald's affair, but curious to hear the full story (strong enough)
"I had her turned out of a job" - Responsible, honest
"It's you two who are being childish - trying not to face the facts" - Believes that it does not matter whether the policeman was real or not. Genuinely concerned that they could have harmed someone rather than just being bothered about scandal.
1.4.1 Shows genuine emotion when
she hears that a woman has died
22.214.171.124 Takes responsibility
1.4.2 Realises the true power of the Inspector
126.96.36.199 Should not be lied tp
1.4.3 Realises Eric's drink problem = realises
problems in society more than her
1.4.4 Breaks off engagement
after hearing of Gerald's
affair - strong
188.8.131.52 Not bothered about
1.4.5 Understands the experience
184.108.40.206 "They are more impressionable"
220.127.116.11 Younger generation - cares less for
reputation and more for genuine issues
such as health and equality
1.4.6 Changes more than any other character
18.104.22.168 Beginning - playful, protected, naive and self-centred
22.214.171.124 Hears of Eva's death - sensitive side
126.96.36.199.1 Reasponds to the girl as a
human being (not cheap labour -
Sheila criticises her father)
188.8.131.52 Realises her own jealousy
and is genuinely sorry
184.108.40.206 Grows stronger
220.127.116.11.1 Respects Gerald's honesty
18.104.22.168.2 Engagement is stopped - not affected by
the thought of respect/social class
1.5 Eric Birling
"Just keep quiet Eric and don't get excited" - Arthur realises that Eric is drunk and could say something that would not be acceptable in high society/ might make the family look worse.
"That's something this public-school-and-Varsity life you've had doesn't seem to teach you" - Although Eric has had a fortunate education, Arthur thinks that he knows better.
"You're not the type - you don't get drunk" - We know that this is untrue (dramatic irony) so the Birling family is not very connected. Sybil does not understand/ see Eric's habit.
"Your trouble is - you've been spoilt" - Mr Birling thinks that he knows better/ Eric is undermined and his opinion is not worthy because it is not the same as Arthur's.
22.214.171.124 From doing something bad - getting Daisy pregnant
126.96.36.199 Weak-willed, looks for an
easy way out of troubles
188.8.131.52 Believes that the Inspector should
change the family and their attitudes
1.5.2 Different to older generation
184.108.40.206 Not afraid to speak out
220.127.116.11 Sees some injustice
18.104.22.168 Less traditional
22.214.171.124 Cares less for reputation
126.96.36.199 Stole money from his father
188.8.131.52 Like Sheila, does not care
whether the Inspector is
real or not
184.108.40.206.1 Old/ young generation divide
220.127.116.11 Does not share his father's
'hard-headed' approach to business/ life
1.6 Gerald Croft
"easy, well-bred young man-about town" - Personable, confident and assured. This may come from his heritage (important to Arthur)
"That was clever of you Gerald" - has Mrs Birling's approval so must be very wealthy and socially high up. Sybil is very shallow and ignorant.
"You're jsut the kind of son-in-law i've always wanted" - Arthur sees Gerald as being like himself = concentrated on business. The engagement is more of a business investment, the joining of two family businesses.
"I'm rather more - upset - by this business that I probably appear to be" - Gerald has been hiding his feelings, as a gentleman would be expected to do. Deep down, he is greatly saddened. Has a strong sense of responsibility. Still very business-inclined, would not reveal his feelings openly.
1.6.1 Gives Shelia ring during the party, public
18.104.22.168 A very public man, much like Arthur
22.214.171.124 Agrees with Mr Birling's business ideals
126.96.36.199.1 Bridge between the two generations
1.6.2 Rescues Daisy from Alderman Meggarty
188.8.131.52 Sense of justice
184.108.40.206 Compassion, felt sorry for Daisy
1.6.3 Still telephones the infirmary to find
that no girl had died that day - relief
220.127.116.11 Like Mr and Mrs Birling
1.6.4 Different to the others
18.104.22.168 Others fuelled by lust, jealousy,
business, spite, greed or pride
22.214.171.124 Acted out of genuine
sympathy or attraction
1.6.5 Admits affair with Daisy - taking resonsibility
126.96.36.199 Bridges two generations
1.7 Eva Smith
"A lively, good-looking girl - country bred" and "a good worker" - Arthur had a high opinion of her. Country girl = naive and less aware than a 'city girl'.
"She'd had a lot to say - far too much - so she had to go" - She had spoken up, not shown deference and so threatened Birling's business.
"Very pretty and looked as if she could take care of herself" - Sheila judged her by her appearance, did not think of the difficulties that she could have.
"Now she had to try something else" - Words sound innocent but this contrasts with the true meaning (prostitute). This exaggerates how she was naive and in trouble, making the actions of the Birlings even worse.
1.7.1 Sacked by Arthur for speaking up
188.8.131.52 Injustice of the class system at the time
184.108.40.206 Rigid hierarchy
1.7.2 Complained about for no reason by Sheila
220.127.116.11 Exaggerates how unjust her situation
was and how unfortunate she was
18.104.22.168.1 Could not help being pretty - unlucky
turn of events
1.7.3 Refused help by Mrs Birling
22.214.171.124 Geniune case for help
1.7.4 What the audience learns about her contrasts greatly
with the Birling family
1.7.5 Although she was unfortunate, she still had enough integrity
to not accept stolen money from Eric
126.96.36.199 Contrasts with the Birlings, who are made to look self-centred and ungrateful
188.8.131.52.1 Birlings compared to Eva = no morals
184.108.40.206 Genuine and kind
1.7.6 Represents the everyday person
220.127.116.11 Birlings represent change, tradition, inequality and negativity
18.104.22.168 Injustice is Edwardian Britain - discriminated against
1.7.7 Used to force the audience to think
about our effect on other people
22.214.171.124 Links to context - Priestley's
left-wing opinions are represented
2.1.4 Employment of any kind is dependent upon
factory bosses and the shops' rich customers
126.96.36.199 Brumley Women Charity Organisation
- women are in need of help/poor
188.8.131.52 Contrast between Birling home, clothes,
food etc. and Eva's conditions and hunger
184.108.40.206.1 Shows inequality in society
2.2 The Birlings' home
"Substantial and heavily comfortable, but not cosy" - reflects the family's outward comfort and inner tensions. The family look happy from the outside but are not under closer inspection.
The set is like it is to suggest that the scene is real and so the play is more effective at convincing and persuading the audience and portraying Priestley's views and ideals.
2.2.1 Seems nice
220.127.116.11 A facade
2.3 Eva's treatment shows that the poor
cannot depend on the rich for help
3 Key themes
3.1 Equitable society
3.1.1 Powerfully expressed social message
18.104.22.168 Comfortable home/lifestyle of the Birlings vs. accounts of
desperate attempts for the poor to increase their wages
22.214.171.124 Sordid life of Eva Smith because of the actions of the Birlings
126.96.36.199 Inspector champions the poor people's cause
3.1.2 The Inspector tries to persuade the rich
that all people share a common humanity
188.8.131.52 Message gets through to Eric
and Sheila - younger generation
184.108.40.206 Ignored by Arthur and Sybil
220.127.116.11.1 Dismiss the idea of a community
18.104.22.168 Suggests what would happen if this carried on
3.1.3 As the play progresses, the Inspector's point is put across
more forcefully - spokesperson for the disadvantaged
22.214.171.124 A conscience
126.96.36.199.1 Lacked by the Birlings (and Gerald)
3.1.4 Shows that the rich had all of the power and that
they could choose whether to help the poor or not
188.8.131.52 Shown by the Women's Charity - Sybil chooses not to help Eva
3.2.1 Most characters - narrow view of how to be responsible
184.108.40.206 Inspector provides the audience
with a much broader view
220.127.116.11 Mr Birling thinks that it is his responsibility
to make a success of his business
18.104.22.168.1 Making as much profit as possible - not being humanitarian
22.214.171.124.2 Feels responsible for providing his family with money
126.96.36.199.2.1 Lack of love - Eric cannot turn to him in a crisis
188.8.131.52 Mrs Birling
184.108.40.206.1 Feels responsible of running the
Women's Charity Organisation
220.127.116.11.1.1 Can choose who to help
18.104.22.168.2 Allows personal feelings to interfere with her help
22.214.171.124.3 Shelia recognises afterwards that her lack of
responsibility lead to Eva being turned out of a job
3.2.2 Eric - little sense of responsibility
126.96.36.199 Shown through his drinking
3.2.3 Gerald showed some responsibility
188.8.131.52 Rescued Daisy from Alderman Meggarty
184.108.40.206.1 Eventually gave in to his own personal desire
220.127.116.11.1.1 Eventually abandoned her and did not seem to care too much
3.2.4 Young vs. old
18.104.22.168 Sheila and Eric accept responsibility for causing harm for the girl- compassionate
22.214.171.124 Sybil and Arthur more concentrated
on business/social position - less compassionate
126.96.36.199 Shows the development of society
3.3.1 Nature of love
188.8.131.52 Sheila and Gerald appear to be in love
184.108.40.206.1 Engagement brings false happiness
220.127.116.11 After confessing of involvement in Eva's death...
18.104.22.168.1 Shelia breaks off engagement, realises that
they do not know each other well enough
22.214.171.124.2 Trust is a key ingredient for a loving relationship
126.96.36.199 Arthur Birling's attitude
188.8.131.52.1 "working together for lower costs and higher prices"
184.108.40.206.1.1 Measures love with money
220.127.116.11.1.2 Marriage is a convenient way of making more money
3.3.2 Neither Eric nor Gerald say that they loved Eva
Gerald: " it'd hard to say. I didn't feel the same about her as she felt about me" - disregard for Daisy's feelings.
"I wasn't in love with her... she was pretty and a good sport" - Gerald used Daisy and did not really love her. He took advantage of her.
18.104.22.168 Relationships fuelled by physical attraction and desire
3.3.3 Inspector preaches a sort of love
22.214.171.124 true 'charity'
126.96.36.199 Care for other human beings
188.8.131.52.1 Alien to Mrs Birling - devotes her time to
chairty without having any regard for others
3.3.4 Gerald and Sheila - affectionate at the start
When Gerald produces the ring, Shelia's sentences are disjointed and incomplete - shocked, overwhelmed, in love with Gerald, emotional
Gerald speaks similarly when he discovers the death of Daisy - genuine affection
Shelia is then scorned and angry at Gerald. She is more independent and in control.
184.108.40.206 Mr and Mrs Birling are unaffectionate -
marriage fuelled by status and money
3.4.1 Set in 1912, written in 1945
3.4.2 At the end of the play, we are left with the feeling
that the events are going to be repeated
3.4.3 Reflections on the past and possibilities
for the future highlight the importance of
thinking about consequences of actions
3.4.4 Dramatic Irony is used to show the ignorance of
Arthur Birling (play written in hindsight)
220.127.116.11 Describes the Titanic as "unsinkable"
18.104.22.168 "there isn't a chance of war" - WWI 1914
22.214.171.124 Shows that although the rich have all the power, they
are not necessarily most intelligent
4 Language and Structure
4.1 The Inspector
4.1.1 speaks "carefully, weightily"
126.96.36.199 Purposeful, full of questions. Good at his job - intense and intelligent
188.8.131.52 Speaks mostly in instructions/ commands/ questions
184.108.40.206 Can control and develop the plot
4.1.2 Final speech - prophet-like, missionary
4.1.3 Short, single-worded sentences are often followed by long ones - shows the importance of what he says.
"because what happened to her then may have determined what happened to her afterwards, and what happened to her afterwards may have driven her to suicide" - methodical, logical, intelligent and thinks about what he is saying carefully.
220.127.116.11 Followed by "a chain of events" - summarises
4.1.4 Speech contrasts with Mr Birling. Birling speaks in a forceful and bullying
manner. His language lacks sophistication.
18.104.22.168 Wants to sound clever but just comes across as
pompous. Represents the middle class of the period.
4.2 Lnaguage/Edwardian manners
4.2.1 Mr Birling describes the meal as "very nice" but is told
off by Sybil as it is not polite to make such comments
22.214.171.124 Geralsd glosses over this social error
4.2.2 Gerald is usually polite and correct
126.96.36.199 Apart from when describing Meggarty
4.2.3 Younger generation use slang - shows developing society
"don't be an ass"
4.3 Eric and Gerald use euphemisms when talking about sex
4.3.1 In the presence of ladies - protect them (sexism of the time)
Inspector: "became Daisy Renton, with other ideas"
Eric: "She wasn't the usual sort"
Sybil: "A girl of that sort"
4.4 Dramatic Irony
4.4.1 Used so that the audience can build
up a picture of what will happen next
4.4.2 Each new revelation adds to the picture of Daisy's life