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    essay help
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    So this answer should likely focus on the younger Birlings, who start off being portrayed as frivolous or drunkards and end up siding with the Inspector, in that they agree with what he says and genuinely show remorse, understanding they've done something that is wrong. Since the Birlings are supposed to be a representation of the upper-middle class, you could also talk about how as Priestly intends for the message to be that we as a people need to change, he has to show that the Birlings are not entirely irredeemable characters.
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    (Original post by computerwizz)
    Hi guys, can anybody help me out with an essay guide for the following question?

    “No character in An Inspector Calls isentirely good or bad. This is what makes them so complex.”

    How doesPriestley’s portrayal of the Birlings suggest that they are flawed but have thepotential to change?
    Well i love IC and studied it last year (got an a*) so i hope i can help a little:

    Lets start with the character's flaws:
    Mr Birling: Self-obsessed, only interested in making money and exploits his workers as a consequence. He dosen't pay them a proper wage yet enjoys luxury himself. He seems to be prejudice towards women as he frequently tells Mrs Birling and sheila to leave and he says that 'clothes mean something different to women' when he is talking to Gerald about politics, implying that women only care about clothes and don't have the mental capability to discuss politics or anything itellectual. This was a common belief in 1912. His capitalist views strongly oppose the Inspectors (and by default Priestly's) views so could be classed as a flaw. He also only cares about how he is portrayed, 'the press will be all over this (or something like that).

    Mrs Birling: Lacks compassion, didn't help eva when she was in need. She also looks down judgementally on the lower/working classes as she says something like 'women of that sort'. She refuses to accept any blame and is judgemental and stubborn.

    Sheila: gets jelous and envious easily e.g think milwards and eva. Portrayed by Priestly as being shallow and materialistic e.g her giggly girly reaction to Gerald's ring. Acts quite childlike e.g calls mrs birling 'mummy. Even though her and eva are a similar age she acts much less maturly than eva and dosen't seem to appreciate her circumstances until later on

    Eric: used eva smith for his own personal enjoyment, didn't consider the implications for her own life. Stote money, this indicates dishonesty and a sly sneaky nature. He was also willing to decieve his own father to take the money. It could be argued that although he stole the money to help eva he could have also given it to her to clear his own concious. Eva is portrayed as being better than him even if she is a lower class as she dosen't want to take money she knows has been stolen

    When u said 'birlings' do u need gerald as well? if u do let me know iand ill help

    Capacity to change:
    As a general theme in the novel priestly conveys the idea that the younger generation have a greater capacity to change than the older generation who are 'stuck in their ways. It is also implied that there is a need for change or they will be 'taught it in fire and blood and anguish'

    Mr Birling: refuses to change throught the novel however the inspector has the full control of the situation and this makes mr birling less sure of himself and perhaps starts to accept that he did have some sort of impact. However once the inspector is revealed as a hoax he quickkly goes back to his old ways and starts laughing and joking with mrs birling and gerald. This suggest that perhaps he will never change.Also once Eric's actions are revealed he quickly forgets his own actions and berates eric for stealing and getting the girl pregnant.

    Mrs Birling: perhaps the most stubborn and least guilt feeling of all of them. She is quick to put the blame onto the father of eva's child b4 she realises it is Eric. She also refuses to acknoledge that she knows eva from the photograph to begin with. She dismisses Sheila when she sides with the inspector against her.

    Sheila: the person who changes the most 'you seem to have made a great impression on this child...' . She feels sorry for eva smith and sees her as a person not a class

    Eric: similar to sheila

    hope this helps
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    (Original post by CoolCavy)
    Well i love IC and studied it last year (got an a*) so i hope i can help a little:

    Lets start with the character's flaws:
    Mr Birling: Self-obsessed, only interested in making money and exploits his workers as a consequence. He dosen't pay them a proper wage yet enjoys luxury himself. He seems to be prejudice towards women as he frequently tells Mrs Birling and sheila to leave and he says that 'clothes mean something different to women' when he is talking to Gerald about politics, implying that women only care about clothes and don't have the mental capability to discuss politics or anything itellectual. This was a common belief in 1912. His capitalist views strongly oppose the Inspectors (and by default Priestly's) views so could be classed as a flaw. He also only cares about how he is portrayed, 'the press will be all over this (or something like that).

    Mrs Birling: Lacks compassion, didn't help eva when she was in need. She also looks down judgementally on the lower/working classes as she says something like 'women of that sort'. She refuses to accept any blame and is judgemental and stubborn.

    Sheila: gets jelous and envious easily e.g think milwards and eva. Portrayed by Priestly as being shallow and materialistic e.g her giggly girly reaction to Gerald's ring. Acts quite childlike e.g calls mrs birling 'mummy. Even though her and eva are a similar age she acts much less maturly than eva and dosen't seem to appreciate her circumstances until later on

    Eric: used eva smith for his own personal enjoyment, didn't consider the implications for her own life. Stote money, this indicates dishonesty and a sly sneaky nature. He was also willing to decieve his own father to take the money. It could be argued that although he stole the money to help eva he could have also given it to her to clear his own concious. Eva is portrayed as being better than him even if she is a lower class as she dosen't want to take money she knows has been stolen

    When u said 'birlings' do u need gerald as well? if u do let me know iand ill help

    Capacity to change:
    As a general theme in the novel priestly conveys the idea that the younger generation have a greater capacity to change than the older generation who are 'stuck in their ways. It is also implied that there is a need for change or they will be 'taught it in fire and blood and anguish'

    Mr Birling: refuses to change throught the novel however the inspector has the full control of the situation and this makes mr birling less sure of himself and perhaps starts to accept that he did have some sort of impact. However once the inspector is revealed as a hoax he quickkly goes back to his old ways and starts laughing and joking with mrs birling and gerald. This suggest that perhaps he will never change.Also once Eric's actions are revealed he quickly forgets his own actions and berates eric for stealing and getting the girl pregnant.

    Mrs Birling: perhaps the most stubborn and least guilt feeling of all of them. She is quick to put the blame onto the father of eva's child b4 she realises it is Eric. She also refuses to acknoledge that she knows eva from the photograph to begin with. She dismisses Sheila when she sides with the inspector against her.

    Sheila: the person who changes the most 'you seem to have made a great impression on this child...' . She feels sorry for eva smith and sees her as a person not a class

    Eric: similar to sheila

    hope this helps
    thanks, this really helped me in my h/w
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    (Original post by adilakbar1234)
    thanks, this really helped me in my h/w
    no problem i'm glad it helped
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    Thanks! Has really helped!
    (Original post by adilakbar1234)
    thanks, this really helped me in my h/w
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    Thanks! Has helped alot!
    (Original post by adilakbar1234)
    thanks, this really helped me in my h/w
    (Original post by CoolCavy)
    Well i love IC and studied it last year (got an a*) so i hope i can help a little:

    Lets start with the character's flaws:
    Mr Birling: Self-obsessed, only interested in making money and exploits his workers as a consequence. He dosen't pay them a proper wage yet enjoys luxury himself. He seems to be prejudice towards women as he frequently tells Mrs Birling and sheila to leave and he says that 'clothes mean something different to women' when he is talking to Gerald about politics, implying that women only care about clothes and don't have the mental capability to discuss politics or anything itellectual. This was a common belief in 1912. His capitalist views strongly oppose the Inspectors (and by default Priestly's) views so could be classed as a flaw. He also only cares about how he is portrayed, 'the press will be all over this (or something like that).

    Mrs Birling: Lacks compassion, didn't help eva when she was in need. She also looks down judgementally on the lower/working classes as she says something like 'women of that sort'. She refuses to accept any blame and is judgemental and stubborn.

    Sheila: gets jelous and envious easily e.g think milwards and eva. Portrayed by Priestly as being shallow and materialistic e.g her giggly girly reaction to Gerald's ring. Acts quite childlike e.g calls mrs birling 'mummy. Even though her and eva are a similar age she acts much less maturly than eva and dosen't seem to appreciate her circumstances until later on

    Eric: used eva smith for his own personal enjoyment, didn't consider the implications for her own life. Stote money, this indicates dishonesty and a sly sneaky nature. He was also willing to decieve his own father to take the money. It could be argued that although he stole the money to help eva he could have also given it to her to clear his own concious. Eva is portrayed as being better than him even if she is a lower class as she dosen't want to take money she knows has been stolen

    When u said 'birlings' do u need gerald as well? if u do let me know iand ill help

    Capacity to change:
    As a general theme in the novel priestly conveys the idea that the younger generation have a greater capacity to change than the older generation who are 'stuck in their ways. It is also implied that there is a need for change or they will be 'taught it in fire and blood and anguish'

    Mr Birling: refuses to change throught the novel however the inspector has the full control of the situation and this makes mr birling less sure of himself and perhaps starts to accept that he did have some sort of impact. However once the inspector is revealed as a hoax he quickkly goes back to his old ways and starts laughing and joking with mrs birling and gerald. This suggest that perhaps he will never change.Also once Eric's actions are revealed he quickly forgets his own actions and berates eric for stealing and getting the girl pregnant.

    Mrs Birling: perhaps the most stubborn and least guilt feeling of all of them. She is quick to put the blame onto the father of eva's child b4 she realises it is Eric. She also refuses to acknoledge that she knows eva from the photograph to begin with. She dismisses Sheila when she sides with the inspector against her.

    Sheila: the person who changes the most 'you seem to have made a great impression on this child...' . She feels sorry for eva smith and sees her as a person not a class

    Eric: similar to sheila

    hope this helps
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    (Original post by computerwizz)
    Thanks! Has helped alot!
    no problem
 
 
 
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