Class Prejudice In An Inspector Calls

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J.B. Priestly wrote 'An Inspector Calls ' in 1944 when Britain was enduring the final year of The Second World War and the country was united in one community; together they were fighting for Britain. However, it was set in 1912 and, at the time, Social classes were a hefty issue resulting in a bitter division of people from different working classes. Priestly uses Eva Smith to cultivate the true idea of social classes that took place before the sinking of the Titanic and before the two world wars. She was an ordinary working-class lady and all of the other characters abused their social statuses over her; the Birlings, in particular, acted egoistical throughout the play without realizing how much pain they were inflicting on Eva 's life.…show more content…
In act two, Priestly writes Mrs. Birling to divulge the snobbery upper-class women portray, Sybil tells the inspector that Eva "was giving herself ridiculous airs. She was claiming elaborate fine feelings and scruples that were simply absurd in a girl in her position", Mrs. Birling instantly reveals class prejudice when referring to Eva as "a girl" and not a woman. Priestly uses Sibilance when repeating the 's ' sound throughout the quote: "Ridiculous airs... fine feelings... scruples... simply absurd". It may be just a coincidence that Priestly calls her Sybil Birling, but the sibilance with the repetition of the letter 's ' recreates that sinister snake-like hissing sound; this gives us an insider on Mrs. Birlings evil intent. There is also a strong sense of irony when she refers to Eva 's feelings as "elaborate" since she used elaborate language to describe them such as: "ridiculous airs", "scruples" and "absurd". In order to disguise her evil nature, Sybil Birling uses the most advanced vocabulary she can to make herself sound better. This may be a psychological trait, her unconscious mind might be telling her that she has done something 'terribly ' wrong but she refuses to admit it and her choice of language being so "elaborate" reveals to us just
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