” An Inspector Calls” is full of lies and deceit. Write fully about the way in which Priestly exposes weakness and wickedness, not only in the characters on stage, but also in society. The title of the play “An Inspector Calls,” is very specific and immediately we know that the key words are Inspector and Calls, this is obviously what happens. I will attempt to write fully how Priestly exposes weakness and wickedness, in the characters on stage and also in society. The play tells the story of the Birling family and Gerald Croft and how their lives are intertwined.
There are hidden lies and truths that the family keeps from each other. Any family that tells lies or has hidden truths must display signs of being weak or wicked. In my opinion all the characters show signs of weakness or wickedness and in some cases both, for example “the whole of the family must share responsibility” of Eva Smith or Daisy Renton, nobody in the family realised everybody was involved with her. Arthur Birling is in his middle fifties and is the father of Sheila and Eric. He runs his own company called Birling and Company.
The first sign of wickedness that Mr Birling shows is him refusing to make the wages higher which Eva Smith wanted, “she’d had a lot to say-far too much-so she had to go,” but the other girls who complained of low wages, as well as Eva were allowed to stay. This displays Mr Birling deceiving his staff because they went on strike for higher pay rises, “well, we let them all come back-at the old rates-except the four or five ring-leaders, who’d started the trouble. ” Eva was amongst the ring-leaders so she was sacked. I understand from this that really the employees went on strike for nothing.
Another sign of his wickedness is that he wanted to keep labour costs down and prices high, so that he got more money, to buy the luxuries in life such as port and cigars. This was also one of his greater weaknesses being pompous, always offering port or cigars to his visitors. Sybil Birling is approximately fifty and married Mr Birling who was below her class. They have two children. Her interest is raising funds for the Women’s Charity Organisation. In my opinion she lied when she denied all knowledge of Eva Smith. When the Inspector showed her a picture he asked, “You recognise her? ” she replied “No. Why should I?
” She was trying to hide that she knew Eva so she didn’t get into trouble, but the Inspector knew the truth because he had read a diary of Eva’s. Mrs. Birling indicates wickedness in her character when Eva turned up at the Brumley Women’s Charity Organisation asking for help to find a place to live. She was homeless and had hardly any money to buy food or drink. Mrs. Birling “wasn’t satisfied with the girls claim. ” Eva Smith seemed to Mrs. Birling “not a good case” and so she used her influence to have it refused. She deceived her committee members in “advising them not to allow her claim for assistance,” as she didn’t feel Eva was suitable.
Sheila is the twenty-year-old fiance of Gerald Croft and on the night the Inspector calls they are having an engagement party. A signal of weakness in Sheila’s character is jealousy, this is noticed when she visited Milwards, a clothes shop “to try something on. ” The assistant and her mother advised her that it wouldn’t suit her. As she was trying a dress on she knew herself it wouldn’t suit, but in the mirror she caught the assistant sniggering. Eva Smith the assistant had held the same dress up against herself and it looked perfect because she was also beautiful.
In a furious temper Sheila immediately approached the manager and wickedly arranged for Eva to be dismissed stating that she’d “persuade mother to close the account with them. ” In my opinion Sheila didn’t lie because she said to Gerald, “I’m trying to tell the truth. ” She was not deceitful either. Eric is a public school and University educated only son of Mr and Mrs. Birling. He is the brother to Sheila who is of a similar age. He is an employee of the family firm Birling and Co, but his father threatens that “unless you brighten your ideas, you’ll never be in a position to let anybody stay or to tell anybody to go. “