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What mark would you give for this practice 'An Inspector Calls' question? watch

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    What mark out of 30 would you reward for this practice question? Sorry if it appears long, many thanks :P

    Priestley criticises the selfishness of people like the Birlings. What methods does he use to present this selfishness? (30 marks)

    Priestley utilizes various techniques in order to successfully convey to the audience the selfishness of the Birling family, its effects and how nobody is safe from its concepts. For instance, the stage directions within the very inception of the play implicitly express the selfish tendencies of the Birling family and purposely contradicts the author’s views on society, such as “the four Birlings and Gerald are seated at the table, with Arthur Birling at one end, and his wife at the other” – this seating position dictates order within the family, and the separation of the two parents conveys selfish manners as they look after themselves, linking in with Mr Birling’s capitalist views. This separation also infers a division in the marriage, as Sybil later explains to Sheila that affairs are a likely occurrence and that “you’ll just have to get used to that, just as I did”, which presents that the marriage is quite possibly based off of traditions and desire for social power. The fact that they are seated away from each other contradicts the Inspector’s socialist views expressed in his final speech, as they are not altogether as ‘one body’, but removed from each other. Another way in which the author present the selfishness of humanity is through the actions of the Birling family and Gerald, as every character is written to express selfish desires and motives in their roles of the Eva Smith/Daisy Renton story, for example Sheila. Although she expresses her regret and eagerness to atone for her sins, her actions are ironically the least justifiable as they fuelled by selfishness, anger and vanity, using her social position to influence her dismissal. However, this occurred very much before her transformation into a young woman due to the Inspector’s visit, which is likely to make her less selfish and hypocritical in the future. Priestley once again infers the selfish expressions of society through Gerald, a character who’s role in the story is very much influenced by selfishness, for example he assists Eva Smith/Daisy Renton merely in order to fulfil his lust, and is reluctant to reveal this information initially – however, he soon expresses towards the audience his guilt and sadness on the impact of his actions, leading the audience to believe he will learn and begin to change. However, this is shown to be false upon his return, as the author once again expresses the character’s selfishness as he tries to disprove the Inspector’s existence, conveying that his aristocratic roots influence him to change the basis of the entire story in order to protect his own interests. Another key character that is used by Priestley is Sybil Birling, a woman that holds a respectable position as the head of a charity, which is ironic considering that her behaviour towards Eva Smith is neither respectable nor charitable. The playwright dictates that the character’s selfish actions are controlled by her own narcissism and hatred of the working class, for instance she refuses to aid Eva Smith for using the name of “Mrs Birling”, which Sybil considers to be “simply a piece of gross impertinence”. In addition, the housewife immediately expresses her stubborn refusal to accept responsibility for her actions, firstly by condemning the blame onto the girl herself – “but I think she only had herself to blame”- and onto the father of the girl’s child- “go and look for the father of the child, it’s his responsibility”. This also presents her hypocrisy, as she would quite happily allow another to take the blame instead of her own, unless of course it was her own son which would likely cause a public scandal and tarnish her own reputation. Priestley uses the second parent, Arthur Birling, in order to convey extreme selfishness in a stereotypical manner, for instance Mr Birling is what the audience would expect a pompous factory owner to look and behave like, and therefore translates his stereotype onto his selfish behaviour – such as his lack of interest in the working conditions of his factory and expressing grief at the potential emergence of a public scandal, instead of assuming responsibility of his actions. Speaking of responsibility, the character is in fact Priestley’s own example of the heartlessness of capitalism, which is shown during his lecture to Gerald and Eric – “a man has to find his own way, has to look after himself”- this clearly highlights the character’s capitalist and selfish ways, brought on by the author’s socialist ways. (this question is incomplete as I wrote this in thirty minutes for the exam)
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    I would really recommend that you ask your English teacher or another English teacher in your school to mark this.
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    I don't know how you are told to structure your essays but you need paragraphs, at gcse we were always to state a point in a topic sentence e.g Priestley uses... And then to use an appropriate quote underneath. After that you then analyse the quote and embed other quotations to evidence your analysis. Basically Point, quote, analysis. I think if you arrange your points more clearly it will help.
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    "Priestley utilizes various techniques in order to successfully convey to the audience the selfishness of the Birling family, its effects and how nobody is safe from its concepts."

    This is too vague, you need to be specific about the most prominent effect used or you are effectively saying nothing. I know you go on to say 'for instance, ...' but it is better to identify the most effective technique in your introduction. And also, you really need paragraphs - you do yourself an injustice by not including them, as it's just throwing away marks. Aside from that, I would say it's good but I'm no teacher and can't assign a mark.
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    Since it is incomplete I'd say 24/30 - your going to do it timed in the exam so you should be able to write the entire essay when practising during times conditions


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    (Original post by LazyBazooka)
    What mark out of 30 would you reward for this practice question? Sorry if it appears long, many thanks :P

    Priestley criticises the selfishness of people like the Birlings. What methods does he use to present this selfishness? (30 marks)

    Priestley utilizes various techniques in order to successfully convey to the audience the selfishness of the Birling family, its effects and how nobody is safe from its concepts. [I don't understand what concepts you're referring to here, because you haven't introduced them yet. Try to use an introduction to set the context before using words like this casually]

    For instance, the stage directions within the very inception of the play implicitly express the selfish tendencies of the Birling family and purposely contradicts the author’s views on society, [Again, what views on society? You need to outline these so that you can make these points, otherwise your points become irrelevant to the question]

    such as “the four Birlings and Gerald are seated at the table, with Arthur Birling at one end, and his wife at the other” – this seating position dictates order within the family, and the separation of the two parents conveys selfish manners as they look after themselves, linking in with Mr Birling’s capitalist views. [Whilst I think this is a good analysis, you've actually used two contradictory points in a way. Conservatism of the ordered and structured family dinner, yet a neo-laissez faire selfishness between the two parents are very advanced concepts that I don't feel you've explored enough. Perhaps point out that they contradict eachother, the way in which the traditional ideal of the family dinner has been ruined by Mr Birling's capitalist views.]


    This separation also infers a division in the marriage, as Sybil later explains to Sheila that affairs are a likely occurrence and that “you’ll just have to get used to that, just as I did”, which presents that the marriage is quite possibly based off of traditions and desire for social power. [Again, I feel that you've only


    The fact that they are seated away from each other contradicts the Inspector’s socialist views expressed in his final speech, as they are not altogether as ‘one body’, but removed from each other. [Whilst I respect your opinion on this, I'd have to massively disagree. Whilst there is the line 'probably a socialist crank' from Mr Birling, think about how the author has constructed the character or Mr Birling so that we distrust him. Inspector Goole actually expresses quite catholic views. Here's an essay worth reading that might help you at least make your point in a bit more detail; you're allowed your own opinion but you have to make it clearer.]

    Another way in which the author present the selfishness of humanity is through the actions of the Birling family and Gerald, as every character is written to express selfish desires and motives in their roles of the Eva Smith/Daisy Renton story, for example Sheila. Although she expresses her regret and eagerness to atone for her sins, her actions are ironically the least justifiable as they fuelled by selfishness, anger and vanity, using her social position to influence her dismissal. However, this occurred very much before her transformation into a young woman due to the Inspector’s visit, which is likely to make her less selfish and hypocritical in the future. Priestley once again infers the selfish expressions of society through Gerald, a character who’s role in the story is very much influenced by selfishness, for example he assists Eva Smith/Daisy Renton merely in order to fulfil his lust, and is reluctant to reveal this information initially – however, he soon expresses towards the audience his guilt and sadness on the impact of his actions, leading the audience to believe he will learn and begin to change.
    [Why does Priestley do this? You've made a very detailed and strong point about 'how' he does it, now tell us why and what effect it has.]

    However, this is shown to be false upon his return, as the author once again expresses the character’s selfishness as he tries to disprove the Inspector’s existence, conveying that his aristocratic roots influence him to change the basis of the entire story in order to protect his own interests. [This hovers between being a good point and being just a description of the text. Try to incorporate my comment above about answering what effect this has, the tying of aristocracy to the selfishness would make an excellent point to back up your socialist theory.]


    Another key character that is used by Priestley is Sybil Birling, a woman that holds a respectable position as the head of a charity, which is ironic considering that her behaviour towards Eva Smith is neither respectable nor charitable. The playwright dictates that the character’s selfish actions are controlled by her own narcissism and hatred of the working class, for instance she refuses to aid Eva Smith for using the name of “Mrs Birling”, which Sybil considers to be “simply a piece of gross impertinence”. In addition, the housewife immediately expresses her stubborn refusal to accept responsibility for her actions, firstly by condemning the blame onto the girl herself – “but I think she only had herself to blame”- and onto the father of the girl’s child- “go and look for the father of the child, it’s his responsibility”. This also presents her hypocrisy, as she would quite happily allow another to take the blame instead of her own, unless of course it was her own son which would likely cause a public scandal and tarnish her own reputation.
    [A fantastic point, I still feel you can advance it by considering why the author chooses to link selfishness and hypocrisy to fears about social reputation.]

    Priestley uses the second parent, Arthur Birling, in order to convey extreme selfishness in a stereotypical manner, for instance Mr Birling is what the audience would expect a pompous factory owner to look and behave like, and therefore translates his stereotype onto his selfish behaviour – such as his lack of interest in the working conditions of his factory and expressing grief at the potential emergence of a public scandal, instead of assuming responsibility of his actions. Speaking of responsibility,[Avoid colloquial terms, keep it formal] the character is in fact Priestley’s own example of the heartlessness of capitalism, which is shown during his lecture to Gerald and Eric – “a man has to find his own way, has to look after himself”- this clearly highlights the character’s capitalist and selfish ways, brought on by the author’s socialist ways.



    (this question is incomplete as I wrote this in thirty minutes for the exam)

    Heya, general feedback below, specific comments above. As it's incomplete I haven't given it a mark, there's just not much point. Overall, I think this is a great essay with alot of potential, you clearly have a great eye for analysis.

    Feedback


    - Structure: An introduction and conclusion are incredibly valuable, and can often decide (as unfair as this sounds) what mark a candidate will get. Imagine meeting someone for the first time and being half dressed/not showered, and the bad first impression you'd make. Or imagine as you walked away from a job interview saying 'by the way, I'm a neo nazi'. It's really important to structure your introduction and conclusion so that they 'frame' your essay.

    - Content: I think you make numerous fantastic points, and it's really noticeable in the later half of the essay that you get into your stride a bit. I think it would massively benefit you to sit down and plan out a few answers rather than just hoping for them to flow. Your points fumble a bit at the end, and hover dangerously over just describing what happens in the novel. Try to constantly reiterate what effect the authorial choices have, and why they were chosen.

    - Language: I think you've got a great vocabulary, and very casual alliteration gives the essay a really nice flow. Try to avoid casual/informal talk, it detracts from what was otherwise an extremely well written essay.


    I hope some of this helps, and I hope you're aiming for a full mark exam
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    Thanks a lot guys, really helped
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    This was a very good answer and thank you because I got some idea which I could put in my essay, but I certainly say that that would be a grade A essay if you made the introduction and concluded.Nice essay🙂🙂
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    This was a very good answer and thank you because I got some idea which I could put in my essay%2C but I certainly say that that would be a grade A essay if you made the introduction and concluded.Nice essay%F0%9F%99%82%F0%9F%99%82
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