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English Literature- An Inspector Calls

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    Hi!
    I'm studying for my English Literature paper in June which is on 'An Inspector Calls' my teacher has given me a few practice questions but I really don't know what to write about.
    Can anybody give me a few points to write about on each of the following questions, around an A/A* grade as that is what I am predicted (Yes I know I can't even answer these!)

    Inspector Goole merely functions as a mouthpiece for Priestley's ideas. What do you think is the inspectors function in the play and how does Priestley present him?

    'He could have used a different photograph each time. We may all have been recognizing different girls' Examine the purpose of this device in the play.

    How does Priestley show the differences in attitudes between the generations in An Inspector Calls?

    Thanks
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    One word. Socialism.
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    I can only speak about the play from when I was in it as Sheila Birling, but we discussed at rehearsals about how the photograph represents the guilt that they each feel about something in their life?
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    Inspector Goole merely functions as a mouthpiece for Priestley's ideas. What do you think is the inspectors function in the play and how does Priestley present him?
    I think I'd approach this with the idea of social responsibility and the implication that we should be responsible for others. You could also maybe link this to class divide (how Priestley seems to imply that classes should be more integrated) and generation divide (the younger generation seem to feel more guilt and accept blame more quickly than the older generation, e.g. Sheila says "So I'm really responsible." You could compare this with Mr/Mrs Birling, there are plenty of quotations that show that they won't accept any blame for Eva's death)

    How does Priestley show the differences in attitudes between the generations in An Inspector Calls?
    The younger generation are far more willing to accept blame than the older generation (I believe the Inspector says something about the younger ones being "more impressionable"). Sheila and Eric are quite quick to accept responsibility, compared to Mr Birling ("a man has to make his own way – has to look after himself - and his family" this suggests that his family is perhaps more of an afterthought). You could also mention that Mr Birling is quite foolish at times, calling the Titanic "absolutely unsinkable" etc. Mrs Birling appears superior in her attitude because of her class, and says "girls of that class" when referring to Eva, but this extreme class divide seems less prominent in the younger generations.

    Just a few ideas, I studied An Inspector Calls last year I'm not entirely sure about the second question, maybe it shows ignorance and a lack of understanding or willingness to accept blame. Hope that helped a little bit!
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    (Original post by sianmay)
    Inspector Goole merely functions as a mouthpiece for Priestley's ideas. What do you think is the inspectors function in the play and how does Priestley present him?
    I think I'd approach this with the idea of social responsibility and the implication that we should be responsible for others. You could also maybe link this to class divide (how Priestley seems to imply that classes should be more integrated) and generation divide (the younger generation seem to feel more guilt and accept blame more quickly than the older generation, e.g. Sheila says "So I'm really responsible." You could compare this with Mr/Mrs Birling, there are plenty of quotations that show that they won't accept any blame for Eva's death)

    How does Priestley show the differences in attitudes between the generations in An Inspector Calls?
    The younger generation are far more willing to accept blame than the older generation (I believe the Inspector says something about the younger ones being "more impressionable"). Sheila and Eric are quite quick to accept responsibility, compared to Mr Birling ("a man has to make his own way – has to look after himself - and his family" this suggests that his family is perhaps more of an afterthought). You could also mention that Mr Birling is quite foolish at times, calling the Titanic "absolutely unsinkable" etc. Mrs Birling appears superior in her attitude because of her class, and says "girls of that class" when referring to Eva, but this extreme class divide seems less prominent in the younger generations.

    Just a few ideas, I studied An Inspector Calls last year I'm not entirely sure about the second question, maybe it shows ignorance and a lack of understanding or willingness to accept blame. Hope that helped a little bit!
    the mr birling thing you mentioned could be classed as dramatic irony

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Updated: May 8, 2012
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