What are the Birlings’ children called?
Eric and Shiela
Where is the play set?
In the Birlings’ house in Brumley.
What is the listing technique used by the Inspector when he says ‘millions and millions and millions’ and ‘fire and blood’ and anguish’? Why does Priestley use this technique?
Polysyndeton. The extra conjunctions add emphasis to the items on the list. In the first example, Priestley wants to illustrate how many people are disadvantaged by capitalism, in the second example, the polysyndeton stresses the gravity of the emotive metonyms that the Inspector suggests are caused by social injustice.
How is the lighting described as being prior to the Inspector’s arrival?
Pink and intimate.
According to the stage directions what should the lighting change to on the Inspector’s arrival?
‘brighter and harder’
Give three quotations that exemplify Mr Birling’s flawed opinions by using dramatic irony.
- ‘unsinkable,absolutely unsinkable’
- ‘it’ll make war impossible’
- ‘you’ll be living in a world that will have forgotten all these Capital versus Labour agitations’
Sheila - (half serious, half playful) Yes - except for all last summer, when you never came near me, and I wondered what had happened to you.
Name the structural/dramatic device that Priestley employs in this quotation.
Name the device:
“One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us…”
From the Inspector’s final speech.
“We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.”
Use of first person plural pronouns.
From the Inspector’s final speech.
“But the way some of these cranks talk and write now, you’d think everybody has to look after everybody else, as if we were all mixed up like bees in a hive - community and all that nonsense.”
Mr Birling before the Inspector’s arrival.
Year the play is set.
1912 - before the first world war and the millions of deaths it caused.
Year the play was first performed in England.
1946 - after the second world war when people wanted a fairer society and just three months after a Labour election win that promised a new NHS.
Location of the first performance.
Moscow - the capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The play has a strong socialist message about cooperation that was well-received in Moscow.
Year of its first performance.
Sacked her for being a spokesperson for the striking workers in his factory. They wanted a pay raise of 10% on their wages of 25 shillings a week. He claims that Eva had had ‘far to much to say for herself’ even though he admits that she was a ‘good worker’ who’d been promoted to ‘lead operative’. He later says that he would ‘give thousands, yes thousands’ to avoid her death. He then goes on to say that Eric will pay back ‘every penny’ of the £50 he stole from the company to help Daisy when she was pregnant with Eric’s child.
Caught Eva smiling at her because she was trying on an unflattering dress in Milwards. Used her influence by threatening to withdraw the Birling’s account if Eva wasn’t sacked. When questioned by the Inspector she admits that she was ‘jealous’.
‘Saved’ Daisy from prostituting herself to Alderman Joe Meggarty in the stalls bar of the Palace Variety Theatre. He then took her for food and let her stay in some ‘rooms’ his friend had said that he could use. He describes her as being ‘intensely grateful’ and she had a sexual relationship with her despite being engaged to Sheila. When his friend returned, he ended the relationship and gave her some money to leave.
He could have offered her a job at his factory instead of making her dependent on his charity but enjoyed being the Eva’s ‘fairy prince’.
He raped Daisy when drunk: “I was in a mood when a chap can easily turn nasty.” As the Inspector states, he ‘just used her for the end of a stupid drunken evening, as if she was an animal’. He then stole money from his father to try and support her. He informs the play that Daisy refused to accept stolen money and so exposes the injustice of his mother’s prejudice for ‘girls of that class’ when she refused Daisy charity from the ‘Brumley Women’s Charitable Organisation’.
She used her influence as the chair of the ‘Brumley Women’s Charitable Organisation’ to refuse Daisy charity when pregnant, desperate and impoverished. She claimed it was because she had caught Daisy in a lie, but admits that she considered it a piece of ‘gross impertinence’ when Daisy said she was called Mrs Birling as Sybil is contemptuous of ‘girls of that class’. Priestly uses dramatic irony to build tension when Sybil states that the unborn child’s father should be ‘made an example of’ before realising that the father is her own son, Eric.
What is an aptronym?
A person’s name that is appropriate for their occupation. Eva Smith, Daisy Renton and Inspector Goole are three examples of aptronyms.
What was the shop that Eva worked in called?
What is the Birlings’ maid called?
Where did Gerald meet Eva?
The stalls bar of the Palace Variety Theatre.
Which town does the play take place in?