An Inspector Calls Characters

J.B. Priestley
This Study Guide consists of approximately 64 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of An Inspector Calls.
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The Birling Family

The play revolves around the experiences and stories of the four members of the Birling family – parents Arthur and Sybil, children Sheila and Eric – and a young man named Gerald, who is about to become part of the family by marrying Sheila. The action of the play dramatizes what happens when the members of the family are questioned about their involvement in the suicide of a young woman.

The family unit becomes the central character in the play in part because its action focuses on them, but also because of the family’s symbolic value, which is in turn central to the development of the play’s central themes. Essentially, the family as a group metaphorically represents capitalism, and all its destructive qualities. Birling is portrayed as being defined by the determination to make as much money as possible, while Mrs. Birling is portrayed as being...

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This section contains 1,342 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the An Inspector Calls Study Guide
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