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Both the parents have images of what they think their children are up to and quite often they’re false. Eric, a wild drunk and a bit of a womaniser, is thought of by Mr and Mrs Birling as still a harmless child. At the beginning of act two Sheila has to confront her parents about the truth of Eric being an alcoholic. The Inspector says ‘And some young men drink far too much. ‘ Sheila replies ‘And Eric is one of them’.
Mr Birling is astounded by this. J. B. Priestly shows that children and parents of 20thC have a lack of communication with each other causing parents to have different ideas to what their children are actually doing.
In the play, Eva Smith, the young girl who committed suicide, was thrown out onto the streets after she was harshly sacked from Millwards. She then faced a hard time of trying to get a new job. Eva Smith then had to turn to Prostitution as a way of getting money to help feed and clothe herself.
She was forced out of her job and then forced again into prostitution. After a while she had to turn to an organisation for help financially. Once visiting the organisation she again, was refused and this is partly what led to her death.
The Burling family discuss how this ideally happens to women all over the country. J. B. Priestly talks about how women turn to prostitution and portrays it very emotionally via the inspector.
We then think about what is happening today. Women today in this country and in third world countries have to use prostitution as a way of getting money. They are, like Eva Smith, forced into it. During the play, the Inspector questions each of them quite harshly. Most of the characters try to blame their actions on someone else. Mrs Burling is a prime candidate for this.
When the inspector asks her why she turned Eva Smiths pleas for help when she was pregnant, she turns the situation around and tries to blame the father. She stresses quite heavily on how it’s the fathers fault and if the man had any decency he would marry her. Mrs Burling says ‘I blame the young man, who was the father of her child. He should be made an example of, and be dealt with very severely. ‘ End of act two. Mrs Burling then goes on to say how he should be made to confess in public and it’s definitely his fault. This is just one example of how there is a big ‘Blame society’.
Like prostitution this also features today and is increasing. There is a strong sense of class structures in ‘An Inspector Calls’. There is the Upper Class in which Gerald and his family come from, the top middle class which are the Burlings Family and the lower class which are the servants/ maids and Eva. Each class’s opinion of each other is either jealous or disrespectful. Mrs Burling talks about how the lower classes are always searching for money and greedy. She says ‘As if a girl of that sort would refuse money! ‘ End of act two. At the beginning of the play Mr Burling express that the lower class as cheap labour.
Sheila, a slightly more respectful person, realises that indeed Mr Burling is taking advantage of the lower classes and says ‘ But these girls aren’t cheap labour- they’re people’ middle of act one. In this play the middle class take great advantage of people less affluent than themselves. This is also happening today. Although it might not appear there are still elements of class in the world. Take Brazil for example, there are well off people living in houses in the cities and then the less well off people are living in slums made out of scrap rubbish. The government in Brazil don’t regard them as worthwhile people.
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