Priestley’s portrays Mrs Birling as a snobbish, cold-hearted and unsympathetic woman but she pretends to be sympathetic towards Eva Smiths’ death. Yet she was the one who worked in the women’s charity organisation and refused to help her in the first place - highlighting her harsh and uncaring nature. Also, Mrs Birling feigns to be oblivious towards her son’s drinking and pretends that she is an eloquent, sophisticated and well-mannered woman.nevertheless; the way she behaves to inspector Goole is one of rudeness, disrespect and impertinence.
Mrs Birling acts as if she is sensitive and caring towards Eva Smith’s death “I’m sorry she should have come to such a horrible end. But I accept no blame for it at all.” At first the reader is convinced that Mrs. Birling is feeling considerate towards Eva – however, the use of the conjunction “but” tells us otherwise- since the conjunction twists the tone into a negative one. Hence she is returning to her cruel and spiteful nature. Additionally the fact that she is avoiding blame emphasises she does not want responsibility because it might cause a scandal to the family which underlines her snobbish behaviour.
Furthermore, Mrs Birling pretends to be ignorant about Eric’s drinking problem”(staggered) it isn’t true…” the paralinguistic feature “(staggered)’’ is effective as her action mirrors her false shock and pretence. Though as an audience we know that her shock is forged in order to keep her family stable, secure and protected from humiliation.
Additionally Mrs Birling believes she is a decorous and respectable woman as she is upper class nonetheless as and audience the way she behaves towards the inspector is dismissive. “And if I was, what business is it of yours?” the interrogative sentence intensifies her arrogant, defensive tone and her rude and confrontational manner which implies that Mrs Birling does