Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter

    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 business 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 business. " 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 business a lot of money. The word 'lot emphasises the idea more that Birling only cares about the marriage because it will give him a profit and secure future business opportunities. This represents the idea of how much Birling is a 'hard headed piratical business man of buisness' as he shows a lack of happiness for his daughter getting engaged and happier about the fact his business is going to grow.

    Priestley intentions of presenting Mr Birling as a character who cares more about money than his daughter is to imply how capitalist thinks 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 business. "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 branding him with excellence, advance in the business world. This introduces the idea that Mr Birlings idea of love is warped and he only loves people that bring him business Opportunities.

    Priestley also highlights The hypocrisy of Birling capitalist stance to illustrate further on in the 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 business deal so that his business deal grows bigger, which emphasises his greediness making him a hypocrite.

    Priestley makes Mr Birling look like a 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.
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?
Useful resources

Make your revision easier


Ultimate Of Mice And Men Thread

Plot, context, character analysis and everything in between.


Revision Hub

All our revision materials in one place

Love books

Common grammar and vocabulary problems

Get your questions asked and answered

Useful literary websitesStudy help rules and posting guidelines

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.