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    Priestly presents Mrs Birling as a cold-hearted unsympathetic person, who regards most people as beneath her. Priestley describes her as 'a rather cold woman and her husbands superior'. Sybil Birlings' aloof and contemptuous nature is evident through her opinions directed towards lower class women. When Mrs Birling was presented with a photo of Eva Smith, she dismissed by describing her as 'a girl of her sort' and 'a girl in her position' highlighting her lack of compassion and social prejudice. Mrs Birling ( and her husband) symbolise everything that Priestley believes is wrong with the Edwardian ruling class; their individualism and their lack of responsibility to the community.
    As a bourgeoise upper class woman, Mrs Birling expects the people around her to speak like her with dignity and respect. Mrs Birling also comes across as prudish and old-fashioned. Her outlook is goverened by what she considers to be acceptable; anything which falls outside her narrow boundaries is either 'impertinent' or 'disgusting'. When Gerald's affair with Eva Smith was released she branded it as 'disgusting to her', even though Gerald comes from a good family, she is intolerant of his mistakes. In act 1, she expresses her shock that Sheila would know the word 'squiffy'. As Priestley suggests at the beginning of the play Mrs Birling is her 'husbands superior' as she comes from a well respected family. This would mean that Mrs Birling has led an easy life in the upper class and has been treated with the utmost deference, protected her from anything from the outside world. This is something that Inspector Goole and Shelia regard with utter contempt.
    Priestley presents Sybil Birling as somebody who doesn't care how the lower classes live and is ignorant of the less fortunate. Back in the Edwardian period, the government didn’t hand out benefits. This therefore meant that people had to turn towards charities for help. Priestley sees this as part of the problem with the rich in 1914. Although Mrs Birling belongs to the Brumley Women's Charity Organisation, it is obvious that Mrs Birlings' motive for charity work is selfish as she has no genuine concern for the women. This is clear through her turning away Eva Smith simply because she thought she was rude by Eva Smith referring to herself as 'Mrs Birling'. When the Inspector questioned Mrs Birling about it, she described it as ' a piece of great impertinence'. Priestleys' use of dramatic irony would have shocked the audiences of the 1940's as Sybil Birling was unaware that Eric was the unborn baby's father.
    In the stage directions Mrs Birling is described as a 'rather cold woman' and is 'about 50' suggesting that she is a mature woman who has no emotional attachment to her family. She is image conscious and doesn’t want her reputation to be ruined. At the end of act 2 when Sybil Birling relises that Eric is the father of Eva Smith's unborn baby she instantly deniys it and declares that she 'won’t belive it'. The emphasis on 'won't' stresses how she doesn't want to belive it as she knows that it will not only ruin Eric's reputation but her own. She is more concerned about about avoiding a scandal, which tells us despite everything that has happned she is not willing to change and take responsibility.
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    To get a higher grade talk about ao3 and context and stage directions and how it shows this.... talk about in the edwardian era ... women were...
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    You only talk about context for the mice and men test

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    (Original post by shohaib712)
    You only talk about context for the mice and men test

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    Ao3 is context and stuff like that so if you include it u can get a higher grade check out the examiners report
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    you need to zoom in on one quotation everything is just everywhere
 
 
 
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