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ENGLISH
Asked by Seth

How does J.B Priestley present the character of Arthur Birling in An Inspector Calls?

As it was set in 1912, despite written in 1945. Think about the social justice and the different class system in Britain during that time. Priestley presented Arthur Birling as the patriarchal upper class, which provokes the idea of social justice back then. Mr Birling was described as a “rather portentous man” which indicates he is wealthy. His ideas focuses on the capitalist viewpoints, as he has stated that every man’s duty is to “mind is own business and look after himself”; which suggested that every class has the duty for their wealth, so that if the rich stays rich it is their duty to stay rich. His character is also very stubborn, when he was blamed for Eva’s death, he refused to accept it when inspector said he was to blame. This highlights the society’s belief and lack of responsibility for justice. He also imposes a demanding character within the family, this further emphasises his patriarchy wanting to take control of his family and everyone in his life. Priestly is trying to utilise his character to present how capitalist notion started to fade after 1912; when the public and society becomes more aware of social justice and responsibilities.

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Meryl Tam
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