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ENGLISH
Asked by Beth

How is Arthur Birling represented at the start of An Inspector Calls?

Arthur Birling is a self made man who has a capitalist attitude towards business and money - he believes the individual should look out for himself above others. He has married into money through Mrs Birling. Because Priestley wrote the play after both world wars and the sinking of the Titanic, he is able to use dramatic irony (where the audience knows more than the characters on stage) and show Arthur Birling to be an arrogant and presumptuous character who believes that war won’t happen and the Titanic is ‘unsinkable’. He sees his daughter’s engagement to Gerald Croft as a profitable arrangement - a possible merger of two businesses therefore generating more money for them. He has no loyalty towards his workers and is often crass and ignorant of social etiquette. He bears no responsibility other than for his immediate family and business. Hope this helps 😊

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