The Inspector Calls

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At the beginning of the extract the Inspector says “She wasn’t very pretty ... very pretty.” In my opinion the Inspector says this to try and give the Birlings a ‘guilt trip’. Mr. Birling reacts by almost telling the Inspector off, as if he were a child, “That’s enough of that”, it sounds like something he would say to Sheila or Eric. The reason he says this is most probably because he feels that he is better and more important than the Inspector and that he can tell the Inspector what to do. The reason he reacts to the inspector in this way is most probably because he does not want to feel any responsibility. After this Gerald teams up with Mr. Birling and indicates that he and Mr. Birling are not going to play ball or submit to him, “And I don’t really see ... we don’t know”. This is a very defensive reaction and shows that Gerald and Mr. B do not want to have time for the Inspector, and that they possibly feel threatened by him. The Inspector does not retaliate aggressively to the ‘attack’ by Mr. B and Gerald but instead he slowly replies, “Are you sure you don’t know.” There is no question mark at the end of this sentence showing that the Inspector already knows the answer to what he has said. I think that the Inspector realises that he doesn’t have as good a chance at getting the information and the acceptation of responsibility he wants from Mr. Birling so he moves on to trying to get the information from the slightly more intimidated ones in the room. Additionally the way he says the sentence slowly is almost like how a parent would speak to their child if they had done something that they wouldn’t admit to, this is a bit like a psychological switch for the three ‘youngsters’, treating them as if they were children again. I think this triggers a parenting reaction in Mr. Birling, “And you are suggesting that one of them knows something about this girl”, one of his ‘children’ have done something that they haven't admitted to and he instantly wants to know...
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