Both Mr Birling From ‘An Inspector Calls’ And Ebeneezer Scrooge From Christmas Carol Are Visited By Outsiders. Compare And Contrast The Two Characters And How They Are Influenced By The Outsiders. ‘An Inspector Calls’ is a play written by J.B Preistly in year 1908. ‘An Inspector Calls’ and Christmas Carol have a main theme to them, which is about holism and individualism but we see how two similar characters dealing with these issues.
The author is showing how wealthy rich business owners deal with social considerations and responsibility also. Charles Dickens writes the Christmas Carol. The play concentrates on responsibility and social considerations and also four outsiders visit the character in Christmas Carol. Mr Birling is the one of the main characters out of six in ‘An Inspector Calls.’ Mr Birling is a wealthy business owner who we see fails to deal with responsibility and social considerations. In Christmas Carol Ebeneezer Scrooge is main character, he also owns a business. Scrooge also shows how he succeeds to deal with responsibility and social considerations. An outsider called Inspector Goole visits Mr Birling.
Scrooge is visited by four outsiders they are; his late business partner and best friend Jacob Marley and the ghosts of past, present and future. ‘Outsiders’ means ghost or sprit all, the outsiders that visit Mr Birling and Scrooge are sprits or ghosts. Inspector Goole’s name is a pun on ‘ghoul’ – meaning sprit or ghost. The outsiders visit these characters due to lack of responsibility they show as businessmen and how they treat their employees. Also what their social considerations however these characters are individualist they think for them self not for anyone else. The ‘Outsiders’ visit Mr Birling and Scrooge to preach holism.
Conversely Mr Birling and Scrooge are similar, they both own business and their responsibility, which is to care for his employee not be individualist and to be holist which to think for everyone. But Mr Birling and Scrooge do not take care of their employees, as they are individualists. Mr Birling sacked his employee Eva Smith because she wanted only a couple of more shillings nothing more. Mr Birling sad that if he gave Eva Smith the increase in wages. Mr Birling considers his business first then his employees and him self-first as well. Mr Birling is greedy: “Well, it’s my duty to keep labour costs down, and if I’d agreed to this demand fro a new rate we’d have added about twelve per cent to out labour costs.”
This quote shows he is bothered about his labour costs, he does not want high labour cost then he will not make any profits for himself and also he self important he does not care if his employees cannot cope with their wages he does not show responsibility for his workers. Scrooge does not let his clerk Bob Cratchet have Christmas off he says it is a way off picking a poor person’s pocket on Christmas day, but in the end he lets him have Christams off but he can not have following day off: ” A poor excuse picking a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth of December.”
However Scrooge is moaning to Bob that he pays him for nothing because he doesn’t do any work: ” You don’t think me ill-used when I pay a day’s wages for no work.” Both of the characters are tight fisted, they are very selfish because they do not let their workers have a pay increase. Both characters do not let their workers wages go up. Mr Birling sacked five ringleaders because of this. One of those ringleaders was Eva Smith, this was one of the first chain of events, which lead to her death. Mr Birling is not responsible because he does not care for his workers or their lives. All he wants is his knighthood:
” I might find my way on to the next Honours list. Just knighthood, of course.” Mr Birling wants his knighthood because he wants to be important in the town. Scrooge is tight fisted because he does not let his workers have a pay increase because he is selfish, and he knows the money will be spent on Christmas presents. Both the outsiders visited Mr Birling and Scrooge, this was because they were irresponsible and had a lack of social considerations for the poor. An outsider called Inspector Goole visits Mr Birling because he is a great example of social responsibility and for the treatment of employees and social considerations. Four Outsiders visited Scrooge, one of the outsiders was Scrooge’s only best friend and his late business partner, Jacob Marley. The rest of the outsiders were called the ghost of past, present and future. The outsider visited because of the responsibility, social considerations and treatment of employees.
Mr Birling fails to reform or entertain the outsiders message. Mr Birling starts informing the Inspector how important he is in this town that he has been a Mayor. Scrooge understands the message from the outsiders and he changes his way of life and he changes from an individualist person to a holist person. Mr Birling and Scrooge fail to take responsibility for their action on other people lives. Mr Birling started Eva’s chain of event because he sacked her due to the fact she wanted just a few more shilling that Mr Birling could afford it but he was selfish to her instead of the pay increase, he just sacked her, which lead to her sucide.
Scrooge changes because he understands the social isolation not like Mr Birling, who does not change because of his arrogance, which leads him to social concerns. Scrooge recognizes his error of responsibility towards his employees and social considerations. Scrooge changes these errors but Mr Birling does not change his ways he is still unchanged by the visit of the Inspector but Scrooge changes. The outsiders, who visited Scrooge, were stronger then the one outsider which visited Mr Birling. The outsiders that visited Scrooge were more effective then Inspector Goole, the outsider that visited Mr Birling.
Dickens puts a message across that people can change if the are irresponsible and do not treat their employees in proper manner or if they do not respect the lower class. Consequently Priestly shows that people cannot change they will stay the same people who follow their ways of responsibility and treat their employees badly with no wage increases. Scrooge changes because he is told his outsiders his past, present and future. The future ghost informs him that he is going to die. He also changes because he is a loner. When he changes his character he start believing in Christmas.
Nevertheless Mr Birling does not change because he finds out that the Inspector that visited him was a ghost. Mr Birling goes back to his old ways of responsibility, treatment of employees and social considerations. This is because Priestly shows in his ‘play’ that the character cannot change. Conversely Dickens shows in his novel that characters can change their ways of beliefs in life like Scrooge