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Producers who wish to avoid this tricky business, which involves two re-settings of the scene and some very accurate adjustments of the extra flats necessary would be well advised to dispense of an ordinary realistic set, if only because the dining table becomes a nuisance.
This also portrays one of themes presented through out the play of the power held by the rich over the poor – as here Mrs Birling abuses her position as chairmen of the committee and has Eva Smith ‘turned out’ simply because of her own personal feelings.
This also allows the reader to question why she is even a member of this charity as she does not come across in the slightest way charitable – it’s almost as though she is a member of this charity so she can look down on others as a source of enjoyment to reinforce her position of power in society.
Mrs Birling is one of the principle characters in An inspector calls – she is used to portray the idealistic views held by the upper-class at the time.
Mrs Birling is presented by Priestly as the body of Capitalism – by portraying her in a negative light allows the reader to draw assumptions between the negative characteristics portrayed by Mrs Birling and the negative aspects of a capitalist society, which is what Priestly intended to do.
Priestley uses this to represent Mr and Mrs Birling as here he states that they are continually going around in this cycle as they are incapable of making a significant change to break this cycle – which also portrays a key theme represented in the play of the notion of change which is un-welcomed by the older generations.
However this could also interpret that this cycle will continue for generations to come – as these same capitalist views will be carried on by Sheila and Gerald.
The way in which Mrs Birling is trapped could also be interpreted as situational irony as the reader knows she would not apply the same standards to her own family as she states the father of Eva’s child should be ‘ dealt with very severely,’ yet Eric is condemned by her words.
At the end of the play we say Mrs Birling unchanged – as she learns it was all a hoax she seems relived and ‘amused’ and cannot see a reason why the family should not carry on as before.
Gerald Croft is an attractive chap about thirty, rather too manly to be a dandy but very much the easy well-bred man about town.
Eric is in his early twenties, not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive. ( he pushes it towards Eric.) You ought to like this port, Gerald, as a matter of fact, Finchley told me it's exactly the same port your father gets from him. The governor prides himself on being a good judge of a port. Sheila: (gaily, possessively) I should jolly well think not, Gerald, I'd hate you to know all about port – like one of these purple-faced old men. Birling: (noticing that his wife has not taken any) Now then, Sybil, you must a take a little tonight.