How does Priestly show tension is at the heart of the Birling family?

Tension is a component that has actually been elaborately woven at the heart of the Birling household. The Birling's are a family of 2 generations; the older assertive and callous generation and the younger ambitious generation with not yet fully shaped minds. The lack of understanding and empathy for the younger generation (Eric and Shelia) feeds the stress at heart:- 'Because you're not the type of father a chap could go to when he remains in trouble-that's why.' This quotation assesses Eric's sense of distance between himself and his farther whilst suggesting that Mr Birling is rather out of touch with his children.

This incoherent relationship for that reason amplifies the stress that neither daddy nor kid are prepared to face.

Inspector Goole plays a big role in emerging the stress in the families distinguishing views and beliefs on duty for the death of Eva/Daisy. As Shelia and Eric establish a sense of maturity and acceptance for their actions they begin to even more weaken their moms and dad's authority and ideas:- 'Mother I couldn't possibly go.

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Absolutely nothing could be worse for me. We have actually settled all that. I'm staying here until I understand why that woman eliminated herself.' There is a prominent contrast in the way Shelia addresses those of the older generation at the pleading of the play to the Shelia the audience end up being familiar with towards completion which again conveys the tension due to Shelia's absence of obedience.

Sheila also adopts the Inspectors blunt language: ‘I’m staying here until I know why that girl killed herself.

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’ Regardless of the idea that women of the time were thought to need protection from all things disturbing or unpleasant Shelia does not hesitate to bring attention to the solid fact that she is well aware that Eva/Daisy ‘killed herself’. Priestley’s use of stage directions is another technique used to accentuate the tension that inhabits the heart of the Birling family.

The audience at the beginning of the play encounter subdued lighting which therefore creates a relaxed atmosphere shrouding the true feelings of the family which are hinted to suggest something is not quite right. The intensity of the light grows at the arrival of the inspector to indicate a turn of events. A combination of an array of techniques at Priestley’s disposal allow him to capture and reveal the taboo tension between the individual characters that is hidden behind euphemisms and gender roles.

Updated: Jul 06, 2022
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How does Priestly show tension is at the heart of the Birling family?. (2016, Apr 22). Retrieved from

How does Priestly show tension is at the heart of the Birling family? essay
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