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How does Priestly Present The Difference Of The Social Classes?
Priestly presents different attitudes towards society and classes.He uses different characters to portray his views on the vast distance between the upper class and the working class. Priestly was a socialist and he wanted the audience to question how they were responsible for their own actions.
In act 1 scene 1 Priestly describes the Birlings house as "a large suburban house","with good solid furniture"". This shows that the Brilings are well off and they have a lot of money to spend. The use of stage directions when Mr Birling supposedly claims that he is a "prosperous manufacturer", this shows Arthur Birling is a hard working man. However, Priestly uses this character to represent that amount of pride and arrogance the upper working class, but it can also suggest that this will lead to their inevitable destruction when the inspector arrives. Preistly uses the Brlings as a symbol of the callous and heartlessness of capitalism. Through this character he is criticizing the complacency of capitalist prosperity. Mr and Mr Briling are representative of the older generation, they dont like their authority challenged, and they have very strict and firm views to what they believe in. He shows that they are unwilling to change compared to the younger generation in Shiela and Eric who feel remorse and guilt when they find out that thye hd to a part to play in Eva Smiths death. Furthermore, the upper/middle class are the most important and the working classes are less important and it doesnt matter what happens to them.
Also, Mr Birling states that "if you dont come down sharply on these people, they'd be asking for the Earth". Priestly wanted to realize that this was the wrong attitude to have an we should be looking out and caring for "these people", not punishing them. Another way priestly explores the difference of the social classes is when Mrs Birling questioned her so called innocent son when she says "you mean you stole the money" and Eric replies "Not really", this symbolizes the uncertainty. Priestly has done this to reduce the hate the audience has for the new generation in Eric as he cares for the lower class by stealing money for the vulnerable and careless Eva. He shows that the upper class can be caring and sympathetic as he helped a poor girl who was in need. Priestly uses Mrs Birling to epitomize all that us wrong with society. She represents the hypocrisy and snobbery of the upper class and she shows no remorse of her treatment toward the unfortunate Eva smith. Priestly, does this to tell us that wealthy member of society are not to be trusted when asked for the truth.
Overall, Priestly uses different characters to portray the difference of the social classes. He uses Eva to show how they were inferior to the upper and middle classes. However, priestly uses sheila to show that she offers hope for the future and she begins to question her family's part in the death of Eva. he begins the become the inspector mouthpiece and didactic as sh turns on her family.
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