Social Inequality In An Inspector Calls Analysis

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Explore the ways in which Priestley presents social inequality in ‘An Inspector Calls’ In ‘An Inspector Calls’, Priestley presents social inequality through the events leading to the death of Eva Smith. The play is set in 1912 and takes place in the dining room of The Birling’s – a wealthy upper middle-class family, who are ignorant to the struggles of the world around them and are self-absorbed in their own affairs. Priestly examines the reaction each individual has to the supposed suicide of a young girl – Eva Smith to highlight the prevalence of social inequality in society in order to encourage the audience to sympathise with his socialistic views rather than the capitalistic views of that time.
In ‘An Inspector Calls’, Priestley uses
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This is revealed when Mrs Birling says, ‘As if a girl of that sort would refuse money’ alluding to Eva Smith. By referring to Eva Smith as ‘a girl of that sort’, Mrs Birling stereotypes Eva to be a typical working-class girl, struggling to make a living with no morals. The fact that she would not ‘refuse money’ suggests that Mrs Birling assumes that she has no self-respect or dignity because she doesn’t have an abundant amount of money. This reveals that due to her socio-economic class, Mrs Birling is prejudiced against her and views her with contempt. This is further established when Mrs Birling continuously refers to Eva and her colleagues as ‘girls of that class’ or ‘a girl of her position’ throughout the play. The fact that she uses a condescending tone suggests that she believes that the girls are of lower stature than her, making them seem worthless, revealing her disgust towards them. She implies that the girls are almost of a different species and are separate from The Birlings who she believes are socially and morally superior to them. This reveals her class prejudices as she believes that the working class do not have any morals or standards. It is evident that Priestly does not believe in these ideals and as a result, he antagonises Mrs Birling, presenting her as someone vicious and cruel resulting in the audience overlooking her thoughts and

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