An Inspector Calls Revision

Nikki Patel
Mind Map by Nikki Patel, updated more than 1 year ago
Nikki Patel
Created by Nikki Patel over 5 years ago
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Mind Map of the themes for An Inspector Calls test

Resource summary

An Inspector Calls Revision
  1. Age
    1. Due to the difference in age Mr and Mrs Birling are narrow minded as they have the views of the archaic society which clashes with the thoughts of the younger generation. The younger generations are more accepting of socialist ideologies, Sheila and Eric accept their part in Eva’s death and feel guilty and responsible (see theme of Responsibility). The older generation, Mr Birling and Mrs Birling, and in many ways Gerald Croft, strongly believe in capitalism and caring only for themselves. The parents are unable to admit responsibility. Gerald Croft is caught in the middle, being neither very young nor old. In the end he sides with the older generation, perhaps because his aristocratic roots influence him to want to keep the status quo and protect his own interests.
      1. Priestley shows how we can all change, through the characters of Eric and Sheila who learn to become socially responsible. He creates the characters of Mr and Mrs Birling to seem foolish and out of touch. The children and parents reverse roles by the end of the play. Ultimately, through the younger characters, Priestley shows that the younger generation can accept taking responsibility and caring for others. This shows there is optimism that the future of society are taking on the Inspectors message.
    2. Gender
      1. In the play, all the women are portrayed as delicate characters- particularly Sheila who the men protect from many things including that Eva Smith committed suicide. Set in 1912, the woman in the play were seen as possessions to their husband and did not work or have careers due to the patriarchal society. Mrs Birling was also protected from outside affairs, such as the knowledge that many upper class men attended prostitute bars (the ‘stalls bar’) and that her son drank excessively. These leads to conflict within the family.
      2. Conflict
        1. Priestley shows that conflict is at the heart of the Birling family by making characters in the same family have opposing views and making them stand up to each other, conveying conflict is present in upper class even though the upper class hid it from society. Priestley creates conflict between the Inspector and the older Birlings by showing that they attempt to belittle the socialist Inspector by Priestley’s creation of conflict support his message that no one is perfect in society, removing the façade that the upper class had. Priestley also conveys the conflicting views between the upper and lower class.
        2. Responsibility
          1. J.B. Priestley was a socialist and one of the ideas that he had in mind was about 'how society should be organised?' He was focusing on the ideas of socialism and capitalism. socialism is when the rich are compelled to share their wealth and capitalism is when you are allowed to keep more of your money.
            1. One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and 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 intertwined with our lives, and what we think and say and do. This quote is evidence for The Inspector talking about collective responsibility, everyone is society is linked, in the same way that the characters are linked to Eva Smith. Everyone is a part of "one body", the Inspector sees society as more important than individual interests. The views he is propounding are like those of Priestley who was a socialist.
              1. .........
              2. Social Class
                1. Apart from Edna the maid no other person is shown in the play that is of lower class. However throughout the play we learn a lot about people of the lower class as each member of the Birling family admits their wrong-doing towards Eva Smith's death who is a member of the working class. J B Priestley is trying to show that the upper class are unaware that the easy lives they lead rest upon hard work of the lower classes. Priestley clearly was interested in the class system and how it determines the decisions that people make.
                  1. By Rutvi Patel
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