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Can you please give me an idea what grade this AIC essay would be

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    "Arthur Birling describes himself as ‘a hard-headed, practical man of business’.
    How does Priestley present this and other views of Arthur Birling in An Inspector Calls?"
    One way in which Priestley presents Arthur Birling is through his false claims throughout the play. We see this when it says ‘there isn’t a chance of war’. This suggests that he cannot fathom the chance of war happening and this reinforces his illusion in the upper class never falling. Also ‘isn’t’ implies that he denies the fact that society will be destroyed, and this insinuates his hubris attitude towards being morally superior. Priestley uses dramatic irony to mock his long speeches and to ridicule them as a capitalist view because as an audience we know that WW1 occurred followed by WW2, which shatters his overconfident claims. Furthermore he declares the titanic as ‘absolutely unsinkable’, this reiterates that he is delusional as he wholeheartedly believes that the upper class will always be in control and will never experience hardship, as the titanic is a symbol of lavish, hubris, wealth and luxury. Therefore, he feels honoured in having allegiance with it and it mirrors the lower and middle class as a vermin because the titanic is a symbol of capitalism as the upper class was able to make an exit on the boats while the lower to middle class shrieked for survival.

    Another way, Priestley presents Arthur Birling is through his pompous attitudes throughout the play. We see this when he says, ‘I might find my way into the next honours list’. This suggests that he is amazed by being presented as an even authoritative man in society and tries to belittle the Inspector by conveying this message to him. The verb ‘honour’ is to have allegiance of moral principle; therefore it is ironic that this is not an award he deserves. Also people who are committed to help others are put in an ‘honours list’, however as an audience we know this is utter nonsense as Arthur is depicted as prudish and Priestley does this to present this whole system as a farcical. And he does this to remind the audience to ‘honour’ those who have made a difference, not those who have made a financial fortune. This links to the theme of judgement because Arthur is a magistrate who dishes out justice when he acts immorally; therefore it represents a facade and the 1930s USA as corrupt because they accolade those who treated others as inferior.

    Moreover, Priestley presents Arthur Birling as a capitalist stock type who is more concerned about a ‘scandal’ rather than the consequences of his actions. We see this when it says, ‘they’ll be a public scandal’. This suggests that he cares about his status in society rather than the responsibility of Eva’s death. Also it mimics that he says it as a shock, which is suggestive of his concern. The word ‘scandal’ suggests that the reality of the character of Arthur will be spread by society and will lead to a ‘public’ gossip if let out, this emphasises him as counterfeit the way he may be seen by the public. In addition to this, ‘I can’t accept any responsibility’. This highlights the immorality of the upper class because they were too cold and pompous in order to bow down to those from the lower to middle class and vehemently refused to take responsibility because of their conservative attitudes. The fact that he doesn’t take responsibility foreshadows ‘fire, blood and anguish’, and this mirrors that he will burn in hell or that he will learn his lesson in WW1. This is because if the aristocracy learnt a lesson of WW1 represented by Eva’s death, WW2 wouldn’t occur, nor would another girl die. Thus, the second girls’ death contains Priestley’s political message and him questioning how the upper class led innocent people to lose their lives.

    Furthermore, Eric present his father as an ignorant and unhelpful person, We see this when it says ‘You’re not the kind of father a chap could go to when he is in trouble’. This implies that Eric doesn’t have a strong bond with his father and that they don’t get n well because he is aware of his father’s avarice and injustice towards people in society. The word ‘kind’ accentuates that he is not the right type of father a child should have because he is more concerned with means of production and material gains rather than inquiring about his children. Subsequently, throughout the play negative connotations are used to describe Arthur Birling because he presumptuously creates a wall between the lower class and himself. And he is triumphant at the revelation that it doesn’t precipitate a social status. Therefore, Priestley reinforces the older generation creating a divide within society because of their old fashioned ways. Also it emphasises that socialism consisted of justice, equality and truth rather than Capitalism which presented injustice, avarice, inequality and hypocrisy because Arthur came from the bourgeoisie but is unable to understand the gravity of his wrongdoings.

    To conclude, the Inspector shatters his complacement and easy belief of being a respectable citizen in society by portraying his disobedience and dismissive attitudes towards Eva Smith and challenging Arthur by deterring authority from him.

    high B, link to the end of the book and it'll probably be a low A
    • Thread Starter

    (Original post by mariyahx)
    high B, link to the end of the book and it'll probably be a low A
    Thanks for the feedback
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