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AN INSPECTOR CALLS: Birling essay, Please Mark! watch

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    Hey, I'm quite scared for this exam on monday, could you do me a massive favour and mark my AIC essay? All feedback would be massively appreciated!

    How is Mr Birling presented over the course of the play? How does this reflect Priestley’s ideas?

    At the beginning of the play, Mr Birling is introduced as a model of capitalist success, being described as a ‘prosperous’ manufacturer.Here we see that Birling must have made a lot of money. The general aim of capitalism is to make money and so Birling, with his ‘good furniture’, is presented to the audience as a representation of capitalist success. As Birling has done well out of it, the audience now imagines Birling to be a supporter of capitalism, an impression Priestly creates with his stage directions before any lines are spoken.

    Once the audience has birling associated with capitalism, Priestly then uses birling to show the ignorant and short-sighted nature of the capitalist elite. Birling describes in a speech that all this talk of war and conflict is ‘fiddlesticks’. He even predicts that in 1940 his children will be having a party ‘like this’. A watching audience in 1946 or later knows that birling is dead wrong about all of this, which makes the audience see him as stupid and overconfident. He also seems pompous when he overrides his sons (correct) suggestion about the possibility of war, demanding Eric ‘let him finish’ without giving him a chance to be heard. This makes it seem like birling is close minded and will not listen to sense. This is clever from Priestly because it mirrors later in the play when birling ignores the socialist ideas of the inspector, and dismisses him as a ‘crank’. The audience has already seen how birling ignores sense, so the socialist suggestions of the inspector seem as correct as Eric’s suspicions of war.

    Birling is also presented as a bad father. His first act in the play is to ‘push the port’ towards Eric. As we know later Eric has a drinking problem, Priestly may be suggesting it is partly birling’s fault that his son turned to drink, as he is literally ‘pushing’ alcohol onto him. In addition to this, Birling appears more excited about his daughter’s marriage as a business prospect than a happy life for his daughter, as he clearly relishes the idea of ‘lower costs and higher prices’. This makes him seem indifferent to the wants and needs of his daughter, and furthers the idea of him being a bad father. Since Mr. Birling is there to represent the capitalist ruling elite who hold all the power, this shows that the elite are uncaring and have no business having so much power over so many people. If Birling can’t even properly care for his two children, why should he and others like him have the power over thousands of their workers? This aids priestly negative portrayal of capitalism.

    Further on in the novel, Priestley’s presents Birling as wilfully obtuse and stubborn. After admitting he threw Eva Smith out for organising a strike, Birling states he cannot ‘accept’ any responsibility. This word, ‘accept’, makes it sound as if he realises he might be responsible, but just won’t admit it. The word ‘accept’ makes it seem as if (the responsibility) is there, but birling just won’t admit to it. Priestly may be doing this to show birling unable to come to terms with the error of his ways, much like later in the play when he acts ‘amused’ when he thinks he has gotten away with his actions. Mr Birling’s refusal to admit wrongdoing is symbolic of the upper classes refusing to recognise the shortcomings of capitalism and the need for change.

    However, Priestly may be trying to represent the guilt of Mr Birling. Perhaps Mr birling does feel responsible, and to ‘accept ’responsibility would be too great a burden on his soul. He does, at the end of the play, stare ‘guiltily’ like the rest of the characters. What priestly maybe suggesting is how capitalism, through its evil, does just as much damage to people like birling as people like Eva, which helps to show the audience Priestley’s message that everyone would be better off with a socialist system.

    Birling is also shown to be unable to make a proper rebuff against the inspector, ‘trying’ to protest but being immediately interrupted and told not to ‘stammer and yammer’. As the inspector represents Socialism and conscience, and Birling represents capitalism, Priestly may be showing how in an argument, capitalism has no strong argument against socialism and can only weakly ‘stammer’. Birling’s ineffectuality contrasts with his earlier bombast and descriptions of himself as a ‘hardheaded businessman’. As his son Eric put it, at no point did Birling tell the inspector that it’s ‘every man for himself’.
    Overall, Birling shows a very negative look at the capitalist lifestyle and the consequences it has for the self, the family, and your fellow man. Birling is a scathing criticism of capitalism by Priestly and a contrast to the good, honest values of Socialism.
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    Hey I'm sitting this on monday to, your essay is amazing! It's well structured and you've used quotes to support your points and you have alternate interpretations. You're language is great and you use good grammar and spelling and the like... I don't know how to mark this properly but I think it would definately be in the top band
    If you're looking for more to include you could talk about how Mr Birling doesn't accept responsibility so could be a representative of the older generation and the pre-war generation, which Priestley condemns thourghout the play like his wife. You could also talk about the contrast between him and the Inspector for develpment into Priestley's ideas as some could say the Inspector is Priestley's mouthpiece.
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    (Original post by Irukandji5)
    Hey I'm sitting this on monday to, your essay is amazing! It's well structured and you've used quotes to support your points and you have alternate interpretations. You're language is great and you use good grammar and spelling and the like... I don't know how to mark this properly but I think it would definately be in the top band
    If you're looking for more to include you could talk about how Mr Birling doesn't accept responsibility so could be a representative of the older generation and the pre-war generation, which Priestley condemns thourghout the play like his wife. You could also talk about the contrast between him and the Inspector for develpment into Priestley's ideas as some could say the Inspector is Priestley's mouthpiece.
    Thanks for the feedback! It's reassuring to hear, so close to the exam. I think you're definitely right about the 'Priestly's mouthpeice' idea, I'm gonna try and include that if i get a question on Shelia or The inspector ^^ Thanks again!
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    Hi I'm also taking the exam on Monday. However, I would have to mark this down a lot due to your terrible capital letter placements. You consistently don't give nouns capital letters. You repeat your points and evidence. And I see no structure within your writing. I'm sorry but I would give this a C+
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    (Original post by Marshall Taylor)
    Hi I'm also taking the exam on Monday. However, I would have to mark this down a lot due to your terrible capital letter placements. You consistently don't give nouns capital letters. You repeat your points and evidence. And I see no structure within your writing. I'm sorry but I would give this a C+
    Heh, no need to apologise, thank you for the honest feedback! I see your point about the capital letters, I'm hoping that will be less of an issue when I'm writing the exam rather than typing it. I've often had problems about repeating my points, i get confused between developing a point and hammering it in. As for the structure, do you mean points on structural choices or the structure of my writing? Looking back I'm not sure how i missed out a structure point, I think I'm going to have to have a checklist of the stuff I need to include.
    Thank you again for your honest feedback! ^^
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    (Original post by notevenluke)
    Heh, no need to apologise, thank you for the honest feedback! I see your point about the capital letters, I'm hoping that will be less of an issue when I'm writing the exam rather than typing it. I've often had problems about repeating my points, i get confused between developing a point and hammering it in. As for the structure, do you mean points on structural choices or the structure of my writing? Looking back I'm not sure how i missed out a structure point, I think I'm going to have to have a checklist of the stuff I need to include.
    Thank you again for your honest feedback! ^^
    This is definitely not a C, I'd give it an A, especially since you've added an alternative interpretation. As for the capital letters, you'd only lose some of the 4 SPaG makes for it anyway (though I know you wouldn't not capitalise properly in the exam). Good luck for Monday, I have it too!
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    (Original post by lubna1998)
    This is definitely not a C, I'd give it an A, especially since you've added an alternative interpretation. As for the capital letters, you'd only lose some of the 4 SPaG makes for it anyway (though I know you wouldn't not capitalise properly in the exam). Good luck for Monday, I have it too!
    Thank you, I've lost SPaG marks before a ton of times, I think I dropped a grade because of it once, so it's something I need to watch out for. But yeah, best of luck for monday, we're all gonna make it guys.
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    I dont know what grade it'll be but if you're doing AQA the grade boundaries are low:
    An Inspector calls: A*=24 A=20 B=16 C=12 D=8
    Of Mice and Men is the same. The overall grade boundary for Paper 1 is: A*=52 A=44 B=36 C=28
    As you can see they are incredibly low
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    (Original post by noidea3)
    I dont know what grade it'll be but if you're doing AQA the grade boundaries are low:
    An Inspector calls: A*=24 A=20 B=16 C=12 D=8
    Of Mice and Men is the same. The overall grade boundary for Paper 1 is: A*=52 A=44 B=36 C=28
    As you can see they are incredibly low
    Wow, That IS low. And encouraging. Thanks!
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    (Original post by notevenluke)
    Wow, That IS low. And encouraging. Thanks!
    I know I got an A on AIC and a B on OMAM with an overall B on my mock
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    (Original post by Marshall Taylor)
    Hi I'm also taking the exam on Monday. However, I would have to mark this down a lot due to your terrible capital letter placements. You consistently don't give nouns capital letters. You repeat your points and evidence. And I see no structure within your writing. I'm sorry but I would give this a C+
    Is it possible if you could check my essay please as well? I've given it a B but I'm not quite sure:

    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...947&highlight=
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    (Original post by notevenluke)
    Heh, no need to apologise, thank you for the honest feedback! I see your point about the capital letters, I'm hoping that will be less of an issue when I'm writing the exam rather than typing it. I've often had problems about repeating my points, i get confused between developing a point and hammering it in. As for the structure, do you mean points on structural choices or the structure of my writing? Looking back I'm not sure how i missed out a structure point, I think I'm going to have to have a checklist of the stuff I need to include.
    Thank you again for your honest feedback! ^^
    I'm not qualified or anything, but I think that this piece is worthy of a grade higher than a C.

    It reads well in my opinion.

    Good luck for your exam! :yep:
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    I'm not sure what exam board you are doing, but it is definitely an A or A* essay. Be sure to say that Mr Birling is constantly worried about his family's reputation, which is why he is worried about a "public scandal". Also, use some sort of structure with your paragraphs, e.g. Introduction, at the family dinner, his involvement with Eva smith, Eric admits to stealing money and his awareness of a scandal, Mr Birling at the end of the play and the phone calls, conclusion.
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    (Original post by TheStudent18)
    I'm not qualified or anything, but I think that this piece is worthy of a grade higher than a C.

    It reads well in my opinion.

    Good luck for your exam! :yep:
    Thanks a lot, English marking always seems so ambiguous to me, lol. Good luck to you too! (if you also have exams coming up)
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    (Original post by notevenluke)
    Thanks a lot, English marking always seems so ambiguous to me, lol. Good luck to you too! (if you also have exams coming up)
    English is just one of those subjects... :lol:

    Thanks, I have a few A-level exams coming up. :yeah:
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    (Original post by Jacob7915)
    I'm not sure what exam board you are doing, but it is definitely an A or A* essay. Be sure to say that Mr Birling is constantly worried about his family's reputation, which is why he is worried about a "public scandal". Also, use some sort of structure with your paragraphs, e.g. Introduction, at the family dinner, his involvement with Eva smith, Eric admits to stealing money and his awareness of a scandal, Mr Birling at the end of the play and the phone calls, conclusion.
    Ohhhhhhh THAT's the structure you need? I hadn't even thought of needing to organise my paragraphs like that, thank you that's a big help. Also I think the 'public scandal' thing is a good shout, I want to work that in if I get the chance, time-wise.
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    (Original post by notevenluke)
    Ohhhhhhh THAT's the structure you need? I hadn't even thought of needing to organise my paragraphs like that, thank you that's a big help. Also I think the 'public scandal' thing is a good shout, I want to work that in if I get the chance, time-wise.
    It shows the examiner you know the play throughout, and be sure to manage your time well so you can fit in that Mr Birling takes no social responsibility for what happens to the girl.
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    Timing is definitley going to be a sticking point for me.
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    (Original post by Jacob7915)
    I'm not sure what exam board you are doing, but it is definitely an A or A* essay. Be sure to say that Mr Birling is constantly worried about his family's reputation, which is why he is worried about a "public scandal". Also, use some sort of structure with your paragraphs, e.g. Introduction, at the family dinner, his involvement with Eva smith, Eric admits to stealing money and his awareness of a scandal, Mr Birling at the end of the play and the phone calls, conclusion.
    But isn't mr. Birling worried about a public scandal because it would affect him in the sense that he wants to be a mayor and that would be affected if he doesn't "keep it from the press"
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    (Original post by Strangerdanger)
    But isn't mr. Birling worried about a public scandal because it would affect him in the sense that he wants to be a mayor and that would be affected if he doesn't "keep it from the press"
    Yes, but if his family reputation is ruined then he will not get a knighthood, so his reputation affects this like a chain reaction.
 
 
 
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