The Play Shows Us A Telling Example Of Man's Inhumanity To Man. Discuss This Statement

2251 words - 9 pages

A young girl dies and a whole family is apparently responsible. The family are interrogated, and one by one the mysterious Inspector Goole makes them admit to what they have done, but Inspector Goole may not be all that he seems...J.B. Priestly tells of this interesting sequence of events in his play, 'An Inspector Calls.' He brings back to life the cruel Edwardian world in which children are brought up to spend their lives in factories; a world in which people are born solely for the purpose of keeping business men rich. In this essay I will discuss whether the play shows us a telling example of man's inhumanity to man.The family, which allegedly cause Eva to commit suicide, are the Birling family. They are a rich upper class family who are blind to the poverty of their employees. There are five members of the Birling family.Arthur Birling is the head of the family and owns a large factory. He is very pleased with life in general but is blind to the troubles of the world around him. Arthur is intent on bringing up his son Eric to follow in his footsteps but is having difficulty in doing this.Eric is the youngest in the family who has not yet reached 20. Eric has a drinking problem, which he is determined to hide from his parents. Eric is finding it hard to live up to his father's expectations.Sheila is Eric's brother and is engaged to an older man called Gerald. Sheila is also very pleased with life and is very excitable. At the start of the play Sheila is very selfish although she does feel for people less well of than herself. As the play progresses she becomes less selfish, in fact she and Eric are the only ones to feel sorry for what they have done."Sorry! It's just I cant help thinking about this girl, destroying herself so horribly, and I've been so happy tonight. Oh I wish you hadn't told me"This shows that she can feel sorry for others although she is not always prepared to back up her words with actions.Sybil Birling is very high in the social ladder of the town. She runs a charity, although more for her own benefit than anyone else's. Sybil thinks that because she is rich and well thought of that no one can hurt her. She thinks that whatever she does no one will be able to do anything about it."If you think you can bring any pressure to bear upon me Inspector, you're quite mistaken"This is a typical quotation from Sybil who refuses to believe that things could go against her.Gerald is not yet a member of the family although he soon will be. He is engaged to Sheila and is now trying to get to know the family better, especially Arthur who runs a rival factory. Gerald is an attractive man aged about 30. He is always ready to help and is quick-witted and intelligent.Arthur, Sybil, Sheila, Eric and Gerald all contribute to Eva's death. Some deliberately hurting her, some trying and failing to help.Eva and some other workers in Arthur's factory have come back from their holidays dissatisfied with their wages. They go up to Arthur asking for...

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