The book An Inspector Calls by JB Priestly is about social status and shows how actions whether they are out of kindness or spitefulness could have consequences. Before the arrival of inspector Goole the Birling family had no idea that their previously selfish actions would cause such serious results. They were so blinded by their own high expectations of how people should behave that they could not see that the world outside the Birling house could possibly be part of such mischief e. g. Girls of the town.
Then the inspector arrived and rained on their parade opening their eyes to the ever-changing, fast moving world around them. Many of the characters attitudes towards such business have changed during Inspector Goole’s visit but one or two of them have changed the most. Mr Birling’s attitude doesn’t change throughout the play as JB Priestly portrays him to be stuck up and self-centred. He denies that what he did by firing Eva Smith was only the beginning of her terrible ordeal, “Well I only did what any employer would have done.Order now
” Mr Birling tries to assure the inspector that anyone in the same position would have done the same thing. Mr Birling uses his high social status to try to discourage the inspector from asking him any further questions about Eva Smith, ” How do you get along with our Chief Constable, Colonel Roberts? Perhaps I should warn you he is an old friend of mine. ” Mr Birling knows people in high places, but the inspector does not have any of his nonsense.
At the beginning of the play Mrs Birling’s character is rather like her husbands. She thinks that her family is so important and respected in Brumley that they couldn’t possibly be involved in a murder case. This doesn’t change through the play and in Act 2 JB Priestly portrays her to be rather hypercritical. She finds out that the reason this girl seeked the help of her committee was because a young man got her pregnant before she died so she insists that, “he should be made and example of.
” And should’ve been forced to marry her, only to excuse herself from being part of the inspectors inquiry. The inspector knows who the young man is and makes sure he understands what Mrs Birling has to say, ” So he is completely to blame? ” Her opinions change when she finds out that the young man responsible for the girl’s pregnancy is her own son, Eric, and takes back every thing that she has said, ” but I didn’t know it was you.
” She does not accept responsibility for refusing Eva Smith/Daisy Renton the help she needed and ending her ordeal, ” I wasn’t satisfied with this girls claim, I didn’t like her manner. ” Her words mean that she tells the truth in saying she was not satisfied with her claim but really she did not approve of her behaviour and the mess she had gotten herself into. Eric knows that he got her pregnant but didn’t wish to get himself into any more trouble, “you haven’t made this any easier for me have you mother… “