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Inspector Calls

Essay by   •  March 7, 2011  •  2,631 Words (11 Pages)  •  2,036 Views

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Generation conflict is a struggle of arguments between two ages, for example Parents versus Children or young versus old.

In Act 3 it is a battle of words between the Parents and children, the parents who believe in tradition, materialism and status and the children who are for progress and liberalism.

In this Act the Inspector has a huge impact on the children as he influences them to become tolerant, compassionate and teaches them to show respect. This is one of the reasons for why the children are against the Parents, the parents do not believe in respecting each other and once the children come to terms with respect they try to tutor the parents about respect but the parents don't want to hear about it.

On the first page of Act 3 Eric reveals to the family that he is the father of Eva Smiths baby and everyone with the exception of Sheila finds out that he also drinks alcohol Mrs Birling shows that she knows nothing about Eric or any of her children for that matter "But I didn't know it was you - I never dreamt it. Besides, you're not the type - you don't get drunk" this quotation from Mrs Birling proves that she doesn't know her children as well as a mother should.

Mr Birling who is a dictator in his household is suddenly silenced on page 53 as the Inspector takes control of the house, after Eric asks for a drink Mr Birling explosively shouts and does not allow him to have a drink, but the Inspector feels Eric needs a drink as he firmly says "Yes - I know he's your son and this is your house - but look at him. He needs a drink now just to see him through" this shows that Birling's dictatorship is overcome by the cool attitude of the Inspector. Another example of Mr Birling losing his spotlight to the Inspector is when the Inspector interrupts Birling, Birling bitterly says "I understand a lot of things now I didn't understand before" the Inspector once again puts a blank wall in front of Birling and says "Don't start on that. I want to get on (To Eric)" this again shows how the Inspector leaves Birling out and treats him the same way Birling treats his children, with disrespect.

The biggest conflict in this Act is between Eric and his father as the Act progresses Eric loses more respect for Birling. After Eric tells the Inspector about what happened between himself and Eva Smith, Birling cannot bear to keep quiet this is when the heated argument begins as Birling says harshly "so you had to go to bed with her?" this reminds us of how he treats his children rather than comforting them he tries to belittle them as Eric replies "Well. I'm old enough to be married, aren't I, and I'm not married, and I hate these fat old tarts around the town - the ones I see some of your respectable friends with -" this quote shows that Eric has lost all respect for Birling and exposes hypocrisy. Birling still tries to run the house as he angrily says "I don't want any of that talk from you-" and the Inspector very sharply says "I don't want any of it from either of you. Settle if afterwards" this again shows use how the Inspector barges in on Birling's speech

On page 53 Eric confesses to stealing money from Birling's office after he tells everyone he gave Eva Smith fifty pounds Birling and then Inspector both extremely curious about where he got the money from this is when Eric miserably tells them "I got it - from the office -" the hyphens in the quotation show how Eric is finding it hard to confess. Birling immediately bursts in "My office?" this again shows that he cares more about his money rather than his son.

On the next page Birling again shows his hatred and disrespect towards Eric. Eric tells his father that he will pay the money back and Birling says " we've heard that story before. How could you have paid it back?" this again shows Mr Birling belittling Eric, he thinks he is completely and utterly useless as if it were impossible for him to pay back the money.

On this same page Birling once again shows that he doesn't care for his children but only his reputation "you must give me a list of those accounts. I've got to cover this up as soon as I can" these arguments have shown us that there is no trust between Eric and his father. After the family learn that Eva Smith also visited Mrs Birling at committee for help Eric is eager to find out what happened and Mrs Birling was not quite ready to tell him so the Inspector with calm authority to show that he is in control tells Eric what happened. "I'll tell you. She went to your mother's committee for help, after she'd done with you. Your mother refused that help" hearing this triggered a furious Eric "Then - you killed her. She came to you to protect me - and you turned her away - yes, and you killed her - and the child she'd have had too - my child - your own grandchild - you killed them both - damn you, damn you -" the hyphens in Eric's speech show that his voice is breaking. Eric almost begins to threaten his mother "you don't understand anything. You never did. You never even tried - you -" just as Eric is about to continue Sheila interrupts trying to stop her brother and calm the situation

"Eric, don't - don't" this shows us what type of personality Sheila has she isn't hostile and disrespectful towards Eric she is trying to calm him and cure the problem, Birling however furious and intervening says "why, you hysterical young fool - get back - or I'll -" Birling is now threatening Eric referring to physical abuse. The Inspector once again taking charge stops Birling in his tracks.

On page 56 the Inspector has a long speech the main bit of his speech is at the end "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will taught it in fire and blood and anguish. Good night" this conclusive ending makes the Inspector seem prophetic as if he is a messenger of god. As soon as the Inspector leaves Birling pours himself a drink which he hastily swallows and angrily blames Eric "You're the one I blame for this" this shows that the family is once again becoming dysfunctional.

Birling is still more worried about his status rather than his family "There'll be a public scandal" "I was almost certain for a knighthood in the next honours list -" Eric who starts laughing at Mr Birling because after everything that's happened he still

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