Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter

    How does is Mr Birling presented in Act 1?

    Initially Arthur Birling is a business owner and an alpha member of his family, which they reside in the Upper class of the Edwardian era of 1912 which means Birling has adapted to certain expectations and traditional values of a typical upper class Edwardian man which Priestly experiments and manipulates the character to face the problems of Capitalism. Birling is described as “heavy looking” and “portentous” and is presented quite arrogant, delusional and is clearly in an approval deficit.

    Priestly presents Birling as quite arrogant and delusional as he wishes prosperity for capitalism and his ideas “Titanic*- she sails next week - forty-six thousand eight hundred tons - forty-six thousand eight hundred tons - New York in fives days - and every luxury - and unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable.”
    Furthermore, Birling is presented as a arrogant traditional man as he neglects the younger generation as they symbolise real prosperity and improvement “But take my word for it, you youngsters” also Birling is also presented as the wrongness of old traditional upper class citizen and shows his stupidity as he says “Nobody wants war” and “there isn’t a chance of war” this presents that Birling is actually out of social depth and his financial depth as the basis of capitalism is war and overall shows how Priestly presents Birling as unprincipled and unfair which illustrates the idea that Priestly that he is also showing Capitalism as unprincipled and unfair. Priestly personifies Capitalism as Mr Birling. Also Birling’s language is mostly spoke in pretences which Priestly illustrates Birling as secretive. Priestly also shows the idea of patriarchal society through out the structure of the play as in Act 1 the lines are mostly spoke by the men excluding Eric, Gerald and Arthur mainly speak however we see a quite interesting idea that priestly presents , which is Eric as he doesn’t speak much this indicates Eric does not have a voice in the house which concludes he doesn’t agree with his father “Yes, I know-but still-“ which Priestly uses him as a challenger towards Birling’s capitalists ideas which concludes why Birling does not like the younger generation as the became more mature and civilised then the older generation which is why Priestly demonstrates Eric as quite but assertive.

    Subtly Priestly demonstrates the “war” between socialism and capitalism through Birling and the Inspector as he uses the inspector to portray his idea and Birling as the capitalists. Through the inspector perspective you see the many problems and unfairness with capitalism and stupidity. Again showing stupidity is that when birling repeatedly mentions he is a “hard headed business man” which Priestly makes a fool of him by showing the very essence of capitalism is war and that Birling is wrong. Which Priestly demonstrates that Birling is out of his depth.

    Overall Birling is presented quite arrogantly and secretive due to his pretences and attitude toward beliefs as he consistently contradicts himself and creates a huge impression of insecurity throughout Act 1.

    Im normally a grade 5 student and some criticism would be good and a band.
    • Thread Starter

    Btw it took 45 min to write.. lol
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: February 15, 2018
The home of Results and Clearing


people online now


students helped last year

University open days

  1. Sheffield Hallam University
    City Campus Undergraduate
    Tue, 21 Aug '18
  2. Bournemouth University
    Clearing Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 22 Aug '18
  3. University of Buckingham
    Postgraduate Open Evening Postgraduate
    Thu, 23 Aug '18
How are you feeling about GCSE results day?
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.