INSPECTOR CALLS ESSAY- selfishness

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cloudy1012
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#1
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#1
I've done an essay in class and I would like to know what grade I would get

Selfishness is a central theme in An Inspector calls, focusing on the views of the class system and the issues of capitalism. Priestley questions the morality of the Birling family and points out behaviours that are selfish. He also points to the wider selfishness of a society that is driven by profit and with no structured welfare system to support vulnerable people. Selfishness is a pernicious and harmful quality that has disastrous consequences. Each member of the Birling family commits selfish acts that lead to Eva’s death.

Priestley draws attention to the political and economic system that set Eva off her downward spiral. Mr Birling is introduced as a “hard headed man of business” who asks for “lower costs.” The alliteration shows how he has become cold, lost with life’s purpose and unsentimental. His motto shows the exploitative and capitalistic views. When his profits are threatened by Eva’s request for more pay, he quickly dismisses the situation since she “had a lot to say.” His “portentous” manner shows how multifaced and hubristic he is; typical of higher class men. The Edwardian disregard for the poor and vulnerable sets off the chain of events that culminate in Eva’s death. When faced with a threat to his reputation, Mr Birling ignores the opportunity to show remorse for his selfish actions, but instead insists that he will “give thousands-yes thousands.” to undo his actions. The repetition of thousands highlights affluence in stark contrast to Eva’s deprivation and the Inspector addresses the irony that Birling is now willing to spend “thousands” on salvaging reputation when he couldn’t spare a few shillings for his workers – capital is being offered at the wrong time and for the wrong reason. Eva Smith was struggling at the hands of the social hierarchy- but she’s silenced by the impertinent and selfish actions of the Birling’s, who are concerned with their preservation of a respectable facade.

Eric was born into money, and Priestley shows how men of the higher class supposedly has a ‘right to be selfish’ by taking advantage of Eva. He was put into a situation where a “chap easily turns nasty,” where his impulsive actions are to blamed tangible things. The metaphor is a careful intimation to the mild drunkenness Eric experiences in order to generalise that men of the upper class were ignorant, which rises the struggles faced with responsibility. Priestley purposefully uses a euphemism for rape (“nasty”) to show how men used to downplay actions easily- it was a normality to get drunk and rowdy to fulfil wishes in 1912. Gerald takes the same approach as he tries to defend himself by announcing that he “didn’t ask her for anything in return.” He objectifies Eva as an equipment to be manipulated, just for their own pleasure. Both men are resistant towards acceptance, as they both fully embodied the actions of a capitalist, then left with the idea to consider that “we are members of one body.”


Overall, the Birling’s circulate around creating problems due to lack of selflessness. Mr birling in Mrs birling have yet to revert and change their habits. Their pure arrogance and unwillingness to accept blame shows how they'll never learn but their actions will have consequences. Mrs Birling addresses Eva as a “girl of that class’’ and doesn’t want the Inspector to “contradict” her like that. The determiner shows how stuck up she is, as she considers any class below her doesn’t get a name. It’s reveals how mocking and mighty she thinks she is. The personal pronoun (“me”) she repeatedly uses implies she also betrays her family, as she leaves them to be left accused. She stubbornly invokes her family’s social status, betraying own ignorance of lessons from the proceedings. It is evident that Mrs Birling remains the most resistant towards the Inspector, maintaining the “same easy tone.” This could highlight a sense of superficiality in Mrs Birling’s character as she intends to appear in a welcoming way so she could get away with “no blame at all”. The phrase “at all” reiterates her levels of confidence. Priestley’s strong social beliefs and collective responsibility show how being irresponsible can cause turmoil, in order for the audience to be in favour for a change.

Overall, Priestley uses the Birling family to symbolise selfishness in Edwardian society. Each member of the family combat and commit selfish acts which leads to a devastating death. Priestley exposes the Edwardian error with the hope of influencing the audience to take action towards a fairer society.
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hardlife22
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#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
I feel like u need more than one perspective like you phrase the quotes but need to explain them more like zoom into the words and explore them also how would the readers feel you have strong points all the way through

I did this last year and got a grade 8 in my inspector calls for my mock before the pandemic
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