Key Quotes Act II Flashcards Preview

An Inspector Calls- Generational Conflict > Key Quotes Act II > Flashcards

Flashcards in Key Quotes Act II Deck (8)
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1

"No, Mother - please!"

Sheila, when her Mother enters 'briskly and self-confidently'
Although young, Sheila realises that her Mother's attempt to put up a 'smiling, social' facade in front of the Inspector is hopeless
Exclamation mark shows the depths of Sheila's feeling and her emotional growth; her directness contrasts with her Mother's hypocrisy
Audience should side with Sheila against her middle-class, middle-aged Mother

2

"He's only a boy."

Mrs Birling to Inspector when questioned about Eric's drinking
The noun 'boy' is pejorative and dismissive when applied to her grown-up son; shows that Mrs B has no respect or understanding of Eric
When Sheila and Gerald both confirm that Eric drinks too much, audience should see Mrs B as foolish and naive

3

"What's the matter with that child?"

Mr Birling to Mrs Birling after Sheila has understood that the Inspector is there to bring to light the family's secrets and sins
'child' suggests that he doesn't realise that his daughter is wiser than he is; alternatively, he could be acting like a decent father and trying to protect Sheila
Priestley is showing that the younger generation are more open to accepting responsibility for their actions and more likely to evolve and change, whereas the older generation insist on maintaining the status quo

4

"Your daughter isn't living on the moon."

Inspector to Mr Birling when he protests about Sheila being 'dragged' into the investigation
Young people are part of society and should not be distanced from its harsh realities
The Inspector is acting as the voice of Priestley: we are all in this together. The audience might be persuaded by this argument as they have seen Sheila take responsibility for her actions

5

"It was my fault really that she was so desperate when you first met her."

Sheila to Gerald after handing him back the engagement ring
First-person possessive pronoun and intensifier emphasise that Sheila has fully accepted responsibility for the part she played in Eva's downfall
Priestley is showing that the younger generation can develop emotionally and morally when faced with the consequences of their actions; 'community' is not 'nonsense', as her father was asserting just before the Inspector arrived
The audience might admire Sheila and even model their future behaviour on her

6

"We've no excuse now for putting on airs"

Sheila to her parents, after Mrs Birling insists on denying that she has had contact with Eva
Sheila has seen through the Birling facade of being a 'respectable' middle-class family
She seems wiser than the older generation

7

"- stop - stop!"

Sheila to her mother, as she has realised that Eric is the father of Eva's unborn child and Mrs Birling is confidently stating that this man is 'the chief culprit'
Repetition, imperative verb, and exclamation mark all emphasise that Sheila has understood the truth and passionately wants to prevent her mother from condemning Eric
Dramatic irony places the audience on the side of Sheila rather than her mother

8

"You're behaving like an hysterical child."

Mrs Birling to Sheila when told to stop
Open sign of conflict and tension between the generations
Pejorative adjective demeans Sheila's feelings; noun choice shows that Mrs B does not appreciate how much Sheila has matured during the investigation
Audience supposed to side with Sheila and dislike Mrs Birling