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ENGLISH
Asked by Mia

Explode the quotation “you’re not the sort of father a chap can go to” consider the language Eric uses and what the quotation indicates about responsibility?

Here’s some ideas to get you started: The noun ‘sort’ in the phrase ‘sort of father‘ highlights that capitalists (such as Birling) don’t make good fathers as they are too individualistic, selfish and inclined to only take responsibility for themselves. The accusatory tone and use of the second person pronoun ‘you’re’ shows Eric challenging Birling’s lack of responsibility and therefore signaling a change in attitude in 1945 (particularly in the younger generation). It may also highlight issues with masculinity whereby ’chap(s)’ or young upper-middle class men are encouraged to keep up appearances by not sharing their problems with their families. This encourages an individualistic approach to responsibility rather than a collective approach to social responsibility and Priestley is highly critical of the lack of responsibility the characters feel for others. Priestley used this to encourage his audience to be critical of individualistic ideals and be more socially responsible for one another.

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Victoria Birch
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