Birling attempts to use status and power to influence the Inspector. He was forever reminding him that he was an ‘ex-mayor and a magistrate’. He becomes extremely angry when he is accused of being involved with Eva’s death. When the truth comes out about Eric getting Eva pregnant and stealing money, Birling is more worried what people will say when it gets out, `you’ve confessed to theft, and now he knows all about it, and he can bring it out at the inquest’.
The Birling’s are a respectable family; it should be kept that way. He doesn’t think that Eric’s problems could be partly his fault and that his drinking problem is a cry for help. When it turns out that everything could be a hoax. Birling pretends nothing has happened. He hasn’t learnt a lesson at all, he thinks if he pretends life is the same and that everything is normal no one will notice anything is wrong. His beliefs have not changed even after that has happened.
The Inspectors final speech was that ‘we are all members of one body, we are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire, blood and anguish’. The Inspector represents the voice of Priestly. Priestley’s main aim in the play was to show what would happen if we didn’t work together as a community. The play is there to highlight the problems of class divide as he wanted his audiences to learn something from his plays.
The moral of `An Inspector Calls’ is that no matter what class we are we are all equal and that we must work together. Priestly wanted to get this moral across, I think he did, but unfortunately there will always be people like the Birling’s. Character Analysis Firstly, it must be remembered that the Birling Family are guilty of no actual crime, although all have contributed to the downfall of a particular person due to their particular attitudes and beliefs. Therefore it could be said that Eva Smith was simply a victim of her class and time.
The idea of the play and particularly the role of the inspector is to try to bring the Birling family to understand that they have a moral responsibility for the death of Eva Smith, if not a legal one. This point is very significant and is the basis of the entire play, to grasp it is imperative to the understanding of the play, without this, an analysis of who is responsible would be far more difficult. Arthur Birling is a self-made man who has built Birling And Company into a successful local business.
As the play opens he is celebrating the engagement of his daughter to Gerald Croft, the son of his main business rival in Bromley, Sir George Croft. The marriage suits him and should greatly aid him financially as he believes a merger of the two companies might not be too far off. This is emphasised when he says, “This one of the happiest nights of my life… perhaps we may look forward to a time when Crofts and Birling are no longer competing but are working together for low costs and higher prices”.