Birling offers the Inspector a seat, “Sit down, Inspector” which tells us that Birling is being fully cooperative with the Inspector and is not at all troubled by his presence. As the inspector discusses why he is here Birling gets rather impatient “Yes, yes. Horrid business” which confirms to us that he can not possibly believe that he has anything to do with Eva Smith’s suicide, Birling will have his back to the inspector as this is said because he wouldn’t want the Inspector to see any of his facial expressions because it might give the Inspector the impression that Birling knows more about the suicide than he is letting on.
In one scene Birling is very happy because he is talking about Sheila’s engagement to Gerald Croft and how much this engagement means to him because he says “Its one of the happiest nights of my life” which illustrates us a very clear impression of how he feels. I believe that Birling is only happy about Sheila’s engagement to Gerald Croft because if Sheila was wed locked into the Croft family it would give Birling the chance to “unite the Birlings and the Crofts once and for all”.
Birling would be sitting at the head of the table in this scene acting very proud and gesturing towards his daughter a lot. In another scene Birling is extremely angry with his son Eric because Eric has stolen lots of money from his father’s factory and has been spending it all on a young women called Eva Smith. His father then expresses his anger by stating to his son, “You’re the one to blame for this” he says to him which insinuates that he is extremely upset, and angered at what his son has done to him and how much shame Eric has brought upon the family by stealing from his fathers factory.
Birling appears to have a mixture of emotions such as guilt and shock when he receives the phone call from a Police Officer about the suicide of a young girl, I no this because the text says “As they stare guiltily and dumbfounded”, these emotions were brought on by a phone call received by the Birlings about a police officer coming to there house to question them about the untimely suicide of a young girl. Birling would be in the centre of the stage with all lighting upon him as he answers the phone, and as he places the phone down he would be staring idly into the audience.
I was not too fond of the cliff hanger that Priestley chose to end the play on because as the play ended I was still not quite sure what Priestley had hoped to succeed by writing this play but after analyzing it you begin to understand that all Priestley wanted was for people to consider their actions before actually acting upon them. Birling in one of his profound and longwinded speeches actually says, “…
a man has to make his own way – has to look after himself- and his family too, of course, when he has one – and so long as he does that he won’t come to much harm. But the way some cranks talk and write now, you’d think everyone has to look after everyone else, as if we were all mixed up together like bees in a bee hive – community and all that nonsense ….. A man has to mind his own business, himself and his own. ” This view ended the family in the awful position that they found themselves in with Inspector Goole.
I Believe J. B Priestley is actually describing himself as the “crank” that Birling described so aptly during the play, which again shows Priestley is being ironic. I believe Priestley wrote this play because he is trying to tell us that even when people are given a second chance to change what they have done they would rather hide from their sins and just hope no one finds out. I think Priestley was using Inspector Goole as an advocate for his beliefs because the Inspector says “One Eva Smith has gone but
there are hundreds of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us” which to me means that Priestley is saying that any of our action and our thought and our words all have an effect on someone no matter how big or small, good or bad, everything has an effect so we must be careful what we say and do otherwise there will be no Eva Smiths or John Smiths left. By Joe Hyland Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J. B. Priestley section.