AQA GCSE English Literature Essay - An Inspector Calls

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MissZ123
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I started answering a question but I kind of gave up and is unfinished. How many marks do you think it is worth and how can I improve?

How does Priestly explore the importance of social class in An Inspector Calls (30 marks)

Priestly explores the importance of social class through the interrogation of the wealthy Birling family, by the inspector, about the tragic death of a poor, working class young girl named Eva Smith, to show the difference in the way of the lives of the upper class compared to the growing working class. Priestly intended to highlight that inequality between the classes still existed even after the war as many people were suffering in horrific situations. This needed to be addressed and amended.

The importance of social class is shown through Mr Birlings capitalist opinion that ‘if you down come down sharply on some of these people, they’d soon be asking for the Earth’ The use of the the pronoun ‘these’ is quite dismissive of the working class people that is being referred to, as if they are not considered as people. It is apparent that Mr Birling feels that it is his responsibility as a middle-class wealthy factory owner, to ‘come down sharply’ and teach them a lesson. Eva, was just on of the ‘several hundred young women’ showing that they have no meaning and value to Mr Birling, who was concerned about his position on the social status ladder and urged to get higher. He also uses his social status in attempt to intimidate the Inspector. However, the author Priestly opposed his capitalist views. As a soicalist he believed that capitalists benefit the rich over the poor and that as a society, we must come together, and everyone is part of one community. Mr Birling, who represented the views of the rich capitalist, did not believe in community or society except that they must look after their family. Eva simply wanted higher wages to be able to feed herself and perhaps her family and live a comfortable life, which could have been possible if Mr Birling wasn’t greedy and cold-hearted.

Another way that the importance of social class is shown in the play is through Mrs Birlings rude reference of Eva as ‘a girl of that sort’ It is evident that Mrs Birling made assumptions of the working class despite the fact that she has had little contact with them. By stereotyping Eva as ‘that sort’ shows her dehumanising opinion of the poor, as Mrs Birling is looking down at animals. It is visible that Mrs Birling belongs in the upper class, even higher than that of her husbands, as she was his ‘social superior’, showing she married down, even treating her husband as a child,a s she scolds him for his behaviour. Her coldness and superiority even affects her husband, so a poor working class woman would have no chance in receiving sympathy from people like her, hence there was no hope in her life. Priestly used Eva as an example to the post-war audience that inequality still lurks in but is covered and
hidden, but if everyone comes together as one big family, everyone can live happily without the need of social class.


The inspector is used as the author’s mouthpiece to give out his socialist views to the audience that needed to change. Although the war brought people of all classes together, as rationion meant that everyone eat and dressed the same, inequality still existed and change needed to come. Priestly was the founder of a socialist party and strongly believed that there was not a class system, instead ‘everyone is part of one body’. Eva smith, the example used, was just one of ‘millions and millions’ of ‘eva smiths and john smith’. He uses strong emotive language such as hwo Eva ‘burnt her insides’ in an attempt for them to sympathise and take blame.
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Nick.kkk
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okay.....I am cant give you a mark but I would say is about a grade 5/6 and please when you write about Mr Birling, Mrs Birling and the Inspector... don't refer to them as actual people, but rather as symbols that symbolize something or someone. If you did that then you will be at a grade 6 for sure. Also your thesis isn't one of the greatest ones, I personally don't like it and neither an examiner or teacher would. Try and use Mr Salles videos grade 9 examples to learn how to build a strong, interesting and sense thesis. if you had a strong, interesting and sensed thesis and refered to characters as symbols, then you will have breached the grade 7 wall.
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MissZ123
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(Original post by Nick.kkk)
okay.....I am cant give you a mark but I would say is about a grade 5/6 and please when you write about Mr Birling, Mrs Birling and the Inspector... don't refer to them as actual people, but rather as symbols that symbolize something or someone. If you did that then you will be at a grade 6 for sure. Also your thesis isn't one of the greatest ones, I personally don't like it and neither an examiner or teacher would. Try and use Mr Salles videos grade 9 examples to learn how to build a strong, interesting and sense thesis. if you had a strong, interesting and sensed thesis and refered to characters as symbols, then you will have breached the grade 7 wall.
Thank you! I re-wrote it but idk if its any better
Priestly explores the importance of social class in ‘An Inspector Calls’ by presenting the tragic death of Eva Smith in order to bridge the gap between the class-based system and the gap between genders, in the separated society, to encourage social responsibility.
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Nick.kkk
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(Original post by MissZ123)
Thank you! I re-wrote it but idk if its any better
Priestly explores the importance of social class in ‘An Inspector Calls’ by presenting the tragic death of Eva Smith in order to bridge the gap between the class-based system and the gap between genders, in the separated society, to encourage social responsibility.
forgot to mention that by using more relevant and judicious quotes you could have gain more marks simply because you have a lot more to talk about. Furthermore, instead of saying the "separated society" say "the patriarchal society" because it hints to the examiner that you may know some important context and how this can reinforce your thesis. Additional tips is to use a range of quotes. For example, if you wanted to talk about Sheila's change - her becoming "a catalyst of the play" - you may want to use the stage direction's quote "a pretty girl" alongside "look mummy, isn't a beauty?" and contrast it with how she speaks presented later on, by using two quotes as well: one, the main one where you go in and closely analyse language and structure; the second one, you use it as a support quotation. An easy way to add is by saying "this is reinforced/anchored/highlighted/further express/instigated hereafter/ clearly evident by [...] stating "....".
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MissZ123
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(Original post by Nick.kkk)
forgot to mention that by using more relevant and judicious quotes you could have gain more marks simply because you have a lot more to talk about. Furthermore, instead of saying the "separated society" say "the patriarchal society" because it hints to the examiner that you may know some important context and how this can reinforce your thesis. Additional tips is to use a range of quotes. For example, if you wanted to talk about Sheila's change - her becoming "a catalyst of the play" - you may want to use the stage direction's quote "a pretty girl" alongside "look mummy, isn't a beauty?" and contrast it with how she speaks presented later on, by using two quotes as well: one, the main one where you go in and closely analyse language and structure; the second one, you use it as a support quotation. An easy way to add is by saying "this is reinforced/anchored/highlighted/further express/instigated hereafter/ clearly evident by [...] stating "....".
Thank you!
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