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AIC inspector Goole key quotes
Terms in this set (7)
'A chain of events'
Inspector Goole shows that, while a single action might not have dire results, the build-up of a series of bad events (caused by the Birlings and Gerald) can ultimately lead a young girl to suicide.
In this way, Priestley encourages the audience, and the characters, to think about the role they play in other people's lives.
He encourages them to think carefully about the dangerous effect their actions can have if they do not think of others and abuse their power.
'Public men, mr birling, have their responsibilities as well as their privileges'
This is a message to wider British society in 1945.
During his time fighting in World War One, Priestley saw soldiers being sent off to die for their country. Upper-class generals and leaders stayed in safe places. They didn't fear for their own lives but sent their social inferiors (those of lower class) into battle. This made him feel very angry at the class system.
In this quote, Goole wants to make it clear that although upper-class men are free to enjoy the benefits of their lifestyle, they must also be responsible members of society who care about the lower-class people who make the upper-class lifestyles possible.
'And you think young women ought to be protected against unpleasant things?'
This is a direct reference to Gerald's mistreatment of Eva Smith.
Inspector Goole uses this opportunity to highlight the hypocritical (act in the opposite way to their beliefs) nature of the upper classes - they want to protect their own, fragile, innocent women, but they feel it is acceptable to use lower-class women for their own enjoyments.While Mr Birling and Gerald try to protect Sheila from hearing 'unpleasant things', neither of them feel the need to protect Eva from them.
Gerald did protect her for a while, but he kept her as a mistress and then discarded her.
This is something that upper-class men would not think to do to upper-class women because they'd have too much respect for them.
'Each of you helped to kill her. Remember that. Never forget it'
Inspector Goole speaks very plainly to the family - he does not soften the blow for them. He wants them to have learnt something from this experience, so he tells them that each one of them killed Eva.
He urges them to always remember what they have done - because he wants them to rethink their actions in the future to make sure they start to think about other people and how their words and activities can hurt others.
'But there are millions and millions of Eva smiths'
Priestley uses Inspector Goole as the socialist conscience (sense of wrong and right) in the play.
Here, he expresses how people should look after one another, and suggests that everyone is equally as important as everyone else.
This statement directly contrasts with Mr Birlings comment in Act 1 that everyone should look after themselves.
'There'll be plenty of time'
'There'll be plenty of time, when I've gone, for you all to adjust your family relationships'.
Inspector Goole recognises that his interrogations have changed the dynamics (how they get along) of the Birling family.
He tells them that they will have to change their relationships as they get to know one another again.
Sheila, for example, has developed a very different (less subservient) attitude towards her father - they will all need time to figure out how their family works once they show each other their true selves.
'Taught in fire and blood and anguish'
Priestley uses the Inspector to warn the Birlings and Gerald of the consequences of their selfish attitudes - if they do not begin to take some responsibility for other people, including the lower classes, then society will face dire (terrible) consequences.He is referring to World War One and Two here, which his 1946 audience would have lived through.
This could be designed to show audiences the real cause of the wars: selfishness and greed.
This would deepen their dislike of Mr Birling, Mrs Birling and Gerald. In the next part of this act, they completely ignore this warning and begin to act selfishly once more.
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