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An inspector calls - key quotations
Terms in this set (15)
'Pink and intimate..."brighter and harder". "Substantial... not cosy and homelike"
Lighting forces the audience to witness the opening scenes with the same rose tinted glasses as the characters onstage: people who are blissfully ignorant of the struggles of the wider world... 'brighter and harder' makes the room seem like an interrigation room at the police station, implies that their sins are going to be revealed. Making the room look uncomfortable and not homely makes the family feel fake and that they are all putting on an act. It also makes them seem unwelcoming and cold, what kind of people would want to live in a home like that.
"Heavy looking... rather portentous... provincial in his speech"
Mention of him being heavy shows he is a physical representation of capitalist greed, yet his solidarity is almost facade as he is insecure and desperate to assert social superiority.
"A rather cold woman... her husbands social superior"
This juxtaposition suggests that a Priestley believes being socially superior also makes a person cold and unfeeling towards others. He wants to change this in his audience. Another reason for this is to emphasise the division between husband and wife, so that there is an element of conflict which matches the seating arrangements. Another ambiguity is placed in front of us. Did she marry Arthur because she loved him, therefore ignoring is lower social status? This is parallel with Gerald choosing to marry sheila, who has a lower social status and is "not good enough" for Gerald in the eyes of his parents'
"Very pleased with life and rather excited"
Sheila comes across rather childish, being excited over a petty thing makes her seem very youthful. This also implies that her childlike behaviour means she doesn't really think about the consequences of her actions and doesn't care about much.
"The easy well-bred man about town"
Indicates his secure status within society and the ease with which he navigates the world.
"Not quite at ease, half-shy, half-assertive"
It as if he has something he is hiding. A complicated man, the audience right from the beginning of the play cant quite understand Eric, they know that something isn't right.
"An impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness"
Priestley is telling us that the inspector will almost certainly have an impact on future events. His appearance changes the tone of the play, he becomes intimidating and serious this builds tension in the audience as they anticipate what is going to happen. The seriousness that he brings addresses the fact that he is not joking around and that the matter is very serious.
"I'm talking as a hard-headed, practice man of business"
Mr birling is confident that there will not be a war. His arrogance and complacency are made very clear. The audiences, knowing that just two years after this speech, WW1 will begin; causing the audience to lose trust in him, making him look like a complete and utter oblivious fool.
"I say there isn't a chance of war... unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable"
Citing that the to state he has credibility in his actions. Needless to say as we mentioned he is totally wrong and a massive war does indeed break out and the titanic does sink. If he gets this wring what else does he get wrong in general? Makes him look foolish and the audience turn against his arrogant personality and lose trust in him.
"If you dont come down sharply on these people, they'll soon be asking for the earth" - "its better to ask for the world than to take it"
Mr Birlings opinions are very capitalist and juxtaposes the socialist views of the inspector "isn't is better to ask for the earth than to take it". He speaks about his workers as 'these people' which belittles them and makes them seem worthless, almost dehumanising. He uses the word sharply which shows that he is not open to changing his opinion any time soon. Makes him look very selfish and self-indulgent. Mr Birling makes the inspector look like a much nicer person, and makes the audience to create a liking to him instantly; they will be more open to his opinion as they wont want to come across in any way that resembles Mr Birling"
"A man has to make his own business and to look after his own... (sharp ring of the doorbell"
Comes across careless, juxtaposes the whole point of the play, he is cut off by the inspectors arrival, this foreshadows the inspectors opinion. The abrupt ending to Mr Birling speech could imitate what Preistleys intentions for society's outlook to change just as dramatically as this.
"You and I aren't the same people who sat down to dinner here"
This highlights the hope that Priestley has in the younger generation to be open to change and become much more aware of their affect on others and the responsibility that they have for others.
"Each of you helped kill her. Remember that. Never forget it."
Again shows the complete change in opinion. She feels guilt for the actions that she recognises are wrong. She vocalises the point the opinion that Priestley wants the public to have.
"We dont live alone we are all members of one body"
The inspector groups all people in earth and refers them to a body - a population that has to work with each other to survive. With the inspector having no clear class he wishes the population wasn't sectioned into people with ridiculous priorities to others.
"Sorry-I-well-I've suddenly realised-taken in properly. That she's dead"
Gerald, who is between generations doesn't feel any guilt but he must have rethought about his actions which at least shows some effort of caring. He might represent those who have the possibility of change but have to actively go against their will, and the behaviours that have been installed in them since a kid.
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