Arthur's Birling himself as a 'hard-headed practical man of buisness'. How does Priestley present this and other views of Arthur Birling in An Inspector Calls?
Arthur Birling is a successful buisness man and throughout the play Mr Birling represents his capitalist views and how he believes it's 'every man for himself'. Priestley presents Mr Birling as a symbol of capitalist.
Mr Birling gives the impression that he only cares about Sheila and Gerald's marriage because it will benefit him and his buisness. " Sheila means a tremendous lot to me". This could be seen as Mr Birling showing affection towards his daughter. However, this could be seen as Sheila being worth a lot to him financially wise, meaning that Sheila marrying Gerlad will bring him and his buisness a lot of money. The word 'lot emphasises the idea more that Birling only cares about the marriage because it will give him profit and secure future buisness opportunities. This represents the idea of how much Birling is a 'hard headed piratical buisness man of buisness' as he shows a lack of happiness for his daughter getting engaged and more happiness about the fact his buisness is going to grow.
Preistley intentions of presenting Mr Birling as a character who cares more about money than his daughter is to imply how capitalist think and what they are like, as Birling represents the capitalist in the play.
An alternative view would be Birling shows more affection towards Gerakd than his own daughter because he brings more money to the buisness. "Your just the kind of son-in-law I always wanted " In my opinion this suggest that Mr Birling is only happy with Gerald being part of the family because his parents has a higher status, with a bigger and better company (Croft limited). The word 'wanted' is Mr Birling pronding him with excellence advance in the buisness world. This introduce the idea that Mr Birlings idea of love is warned and he only loves people that bring him buisness Opportunities.
Priestley also highlights The hypocrisy of Birling capitalist stance to illustrate further on in the deist he fired Eva Smith because she asked for a raised "Rubbish! If you don't come down sharply on theses people they'd soon be asking for the dart". The use of the exaggeration/hyperbole just implies that Birling thinks that the lower class always ask for more and are greedy. However it's Birling that treats Sheila and Gerald's engagement like its a buisness deal so that his buisness deal grows bigger, which emphasises his greediness making him a hypocrite. Priestley makes Mr Birling look like an hypocrite in the eye of the audience so that any other opinion that Birling has in the future in the play is devalued
The writer is trying to make a point to the audience that being a capitalist means that you are selfish as its 'Everyman for himself'. Preisley is trying to promote the socialist view that we should all help each other.
Please mark. Watch
- Thread Starter
- 21-05-2016 23:59
- 22-05-2016 09:36
do you think that arthur billing will come up for the character question?
- 22-05-2016 09:57
ah i have no idea about your exam board (or honestly how to mark accurately lmao) so i'm not sure about the mark. like i deffo like it, there's alternate interpretations and contextual references n whatnot. i'd reccomend maybe making it more obvious and drawing attention literally just to the fact it's a play though; ya could talk about n analyse some stage directions, explore the effects on the audience n whatnot. i could be really wrong but i think it's a lot around one point, which is often a good thing, but some of it seems a little repetitive — but honestly that good be a good thing it's just my opinion, and i have no idea rlly whoops. explore other views alongside that maybe. and you did at the end and it is fairly consistent, but maybe refer back to why Priestley does those things more often, like his actual purpose, not just what he's doing (e.g. mr birling representing how the older generation of society are ingrained in their attitudes; how through him it's suggested these attitudes need to change. change which the audience itself - in 1945 - are looking for after the war/end of the war ((could link even just briefly there to the labour elections, and how Birling dismisses them but ah I forgot the quote)) idk, i didn't read through in that much detail so maybe you did, but ya, deffo link to the audience a bit more and show awareness of like the time periods in which it was set and when it was originally played).