The inspector tries to make them all share responsibility in letting them know that they have all contributed towards her death. “But each of you helped to kill her”. These are the inspector’s words shortly before leaving the Birling’s house. The Birling’s and Gerald Croft can relate to real life people quite easily, because generally, a lot of people think as they did. Another point that shows the plays success, is the way that it is easy for the audience to look at what they’re doing wrong, and relate that to themselves or the society they live in, and thus teaches them of there mistakes of which they are oblivious to.
The play is Preistly’s way of teaching the audience. He tries to teach that we need to be responsible not only for ourselves, but others in our society and community. At the beginning of the play the family are too full of them-selves and look down on people. They think they have a great importance just because they are rich and upper class. The play shows some irony here as Arthur is awaiting his knight-hood. This shows us that in the Edwardian times, you were either stinking rich, or poor and starving. The rich should have been supporting the poor instead of looking down on them in disgust, it is there collective responsibility.
The characters do represent real life people in that they show people making mistakes and being totally oblivious to them. In the play the inspector is really Preistley, he’s the one who is trying to put Preistley’s feelings across. He wants the show them what they’ve done wrong and make them feel bad so that hopefully these people will learn from there mistakes. Morality plays are not a new thing, they have been around for years. The whole idea is to teach people their real life, moral mistakes. Making people aware of there ignorance.
They can teach people very valuable things about life in general, very important moral issues. They have been in production for many years, even as far back as medieval times. A character in the play represents a sin. This character was given the chance to behave correctly, and thus teaching the audience. In the play the inspector, or Preistleys voice tries to get each character to recognise, and own up to their mistakes. He wants them all to admit to their part in Eva’s death. However, Sheila does confess when she makes the statement “I know I’m to blame… ” Dramatic irony is used in this play very wisely.
He has made the audience form a disliking against the Birlings and feel sorry for those they have wronged. Dramatic irony is where the audience knows more than the character. This is by Arthur’s ignorance when he say’s “the titanic won’t sink” when we know damn well that it will. But at this point in the play, people are un-aware of his ignorance and take his word for it. It makes him seem like a knowledgeable man. Preistley does this deliberately to show that Arthur isn’t really the man that he and his family think he is. It shows that he isn’t as good as he thinks he is at all, and not half as clever.
Birling goes on and on as well. He likes the sound of his own voice, and yet again, feels he has a very high importance. The inspector arrives when Mr. Birling is going on about everybody being there own responsibility. “A man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own”. This is ironic because the inspectors questioning tries to challenge his views, and it makes Arthur look a bit stupid. There was a long chain of events, which lead up to Eva’s death. Mr Birling first became acquainted with Eva when he took her on as an employee 2 years previously. Mr Birling was the one who put the chain in motion.
He started the dramatic chain of events by sacking Eva. The reason for Eva’s sacking was because she had asked for a pay rise, due to the despicable wages that they were being paid. However, Mr Birling is not all to blame, because Eva’s approach towards asking Mr Birling for a pay rise was quite possibly not the best way to do it. She had lead a small party of workers in a strike force. This was her sackable offence, but if Mr Birling was paying them well in the first place this would never have happened, and it is clear that Mr Birling isn’t the type of person to give a pay rise unless something drastic happens.