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How Does Priestley Present Mr Birling Priestley Presents the Character of Mr Birling as a Symbol of the Capitalist Ruling Class and the Need for Socialist Ideals.

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How Does Priestley Present Mr Birling Priestley presents the character of Mr Birling as a symbol of the capitalist ruling class and the need for socialist ideals. Priestley begins by presenting Mr Birling as a successful, albeit 'hard-headed businessman'. It is clear from the stage directions which describe 'The dining room... of a fairly large suburban house, belonging to a prosperous manufacturer' that Birling is rich and materialistically successful. In terms of capitalism, he is therefore a role model in the fact that he has reached the capitalist goals of making a financial profit. Once Birling's worldy success is established, Priestley undermines his character through presenting Mr Birling as ignorant. With the play being set before WW2, dramatic irony is used when Birling exclaims 'there isn't chance of war'. Here the audience know he is wrong, and therefore realise that Birling's confidence is misguided- he is an ignorant man. This is further proven when he claims that the soon to sail Titanic is 'absolutely unsinkable'.The audience may feel there is a contradiction in this character - worldly success and power coupled with stupidity and ignorance. However, Priestley has deliberately presented Birling in this way to criticise the capitalism for which Birling stands. Being a co-founder of the Socialist Commonwealth Party, Priestley felt that his political views on socialism were very important and the play 'An Inspector Calls' is his vehicle from which to promote these views. It is clear that Mr Birling disagrees with socialism in the way he criticises 'community and all that nonsense'. However, the Inspector proves that this capitalist and selfish viewpoint ends in the death of Eva. Priestley wrote in 1945, and was aiming to use the post WW2 vulnerability of the audience as an opportunity to project his views. Socialism is the belief that a society has the responsibility to look after one another. Socialists believe that the rich should be heavily taxed to look after the poor. In the play, this equates to rich characters such as Mr Birling taking care of poor characters such as Eva. This view is disregarded by Mr Birling as 'nonsense'. Socialists also want to see the collapse of the class system. In the play, a socialist Birling family would have cared for Eva, and Mr Birling would have acted in a radically different way. Priestley also presents Birling as egotistical. He is so pompous that he cannot help but brag about his advantageous connections, bragging that "I might find my way into the next Honours List'. The use of language is highy ironic here; when the definition of the word 'honour' is to have allegiance to moral principals, it is clear that this is not an award Birling is deserving of. Indeed, the Honours List supposedly rewards those who are committed to serving and helping Britain, and Priestley is indicating that the whole system is farcical. It is clear here that Birling cares how others view him, but does not care about other. Priestley is criticising this selfish behaviour, reminding the audience that they should respect those with honour, ideals and determination - not those who selfishly and egotistically have made a financial fortune. In order to completely vilify capitalism, Priestley presents Mr Birling not only as ignorant, but also as inherently selfish; Birling believes that 'a man has to make his own way'. This self obsessed element to his character makes the audience dislike him thoroughly and see clearly the need for a move from capitalist ideals to socialist ideals. In conclusion, Priestley uses the character of Mr Birling to criticise capitalism. Through his selfishness and ignorance, the audience cannot side with Mr Birling or the capitalist ideals that have made him so wealthy. In seeing no morality or goodness in Mr Birling, and therefore the capitalist ideals he metaphorically represents, Priestley hopes to sway the audience towards the values of socialism.

2.How Does Steinbeck Present Curley? Steinbeck presents the character of Curley as a symbol of his theme of fate.
Curley is a character who is disliked by all in the novella - even his wife who confides to a docile Lennie "I don't like Curley". Indeed, Curley's actions throughout the novella are aggressive, confrontational and judgemental: he is the archetypal villain of the piece. However, despite his lack of positive attributes, Curley has a position of authority on the ranch - as the ranch owner's son, he elicits fear even in the usually calm George who asks "Slim. Is Curley's old man gonna can us?" when Lennie hurts Curley. At first glance, the reader might be confused as to why Curley has a position of authority on the ranch, particularly when near perfect men such as 'prince of the ranch' Slim are employed in menial roles. However, Steinbeck juxtaposes the cruel Curley with the sublime Slim to highlight the theme of fate. Fate is the belief that the events which take place in our lives are pre-conceived and unavoidable. Steinbeck was so enamoured by the notion that he changed the title of the novella from its original 'Something That Happened' to its current title. 'Of Mice and Men' is a line from the Rober Burns poem 'To a Mouse', a poem concerned with fate. Steinbeck's message is clear: Curley was born the son of a ranch owner, and so is fated to live a life of relative luxury in a position of authority he clearly does not deserve. His evil actions only further exemplify just how unfit for the role Curley is. The reader gets the impression that Curley is so used to getting his own way that he has lost his grasp on reality. It surprises us when he picks a fight with Lennie, confronting him with the question "what the hell you laughin' at?' Dramatic irony occurs at this moment as the reader clearly knows that Curley should not provoke Lennie who is as 'strong as a bull' and could easily kill Curley. It is this arrogance which soon has Curley 'flopping like a fish on a line'. It is possible to interpret Curley at this moment for a metaphor of the arrogance of the leaders of the USA. Steinbeck is here suggesting that the rich leaders of the USA have lost touch with the realities of existence. Living as he did in the tough climate of the 1930s, Steinbeck knew first hand of the suffering caused by the dust bowl and Wall Street Crash. His message is clear - those in positions of power and authority have no true grasp of the realities of existence. Finally, Curley is a character who is used by Steinbeck to highlight the futility of the concept of the American Dream. America has always promoted itself as the land of equal opportunity, where a man can achieve anything he dreams of if he works hard enough. Curley, whose position of authority and success is indicated by the fact that 'like the boss, he wore high heeled boots’, is used to dispel the concept. Unlike every other character, we never read of Curley working hard at all - he simply spends his time causing trouble and looking for his wife. However, he has a position of authority, power and superiority. Steinbeck is here showing that the American Dream is a myth - it doesn't matter how hard you work, success only comes to those who are fated to receive it.
Steinbeck unravels the chauvinistic personality of Curley through his body language. We understand that Curley could create trouble for Lennie as it describes Curley as being ‘bent at the elbows’ with hands that are ‘closed to fists’. This creates an image of a man poised and ready to fight, which leads the reader into an immediate disliking of Curley as he could contribute to the downfall of George or Lennie, who we already have a positive attitude towards due to prior activities in the novella. This idea of Curley is such as an antagonist is a surprise as, in the opening sentence, it highlights Curley’s figure. The idea that he was a ‘thin, young man’ insignificant initially, however we become aware that Curley, being the son of the Boss, is practically invincible as if anybody steps out of line then he could get his father to fire them.
Another reason as to why Curley is presented as he is, is to reflect how those who had money weren’t affected, caring, for anybody struggling to work during the great depression. Lennie's dream of a farm has, thus far, seemed idealistic and unachievable. Curley's arrival does nothing to change our views on this matter. He is unpleasant, small, and clearly not a good manager or potential 'boss'. He begins by threatening the new ranch-hands rather than getting to know their strengths. Nevertheless, he will always be employed, always have a farm to call his own, and will inherit his father's wealth and status. This is not a meritocracy at all and certainly not the 'land of the free' that American was meant to be. He symbolises the 'new aristocracy' which Steinbeck hates and blames for the great depression.
Steinbeck says that Lennie 'Squirmed under the look', which conveys two things: Lennie's very strong animal instincts - he responds instinctively negatively to Curley, which is significant in reinforcing Lennie's animalistic qualities; but it also foreshadows the fight scene which happens at the dramatic peak of the novel. One of the novel's greatest achievements is the sense of doom which prevails and is established through tiny details such as these long before anything really bad actually happens. Also Lennie begins to ‘shift his feet nervously ’ which makes his discomfort apparent and allows the reader to sympathise with Lennie. This sympathy leads to hatred towards Curley for being the principal force in creating the tense environment. This is then exacerbated by Curley honing in on Lennie’s obvious vulnerability as he steps ‘gingerly close’ to him. He is aware has intimidated Lennie and spots an opportunity to strike, rather like a boxer would.
Steinbeck expresses Curley’s unnecessary suspicion of the new arrivals as this is their first time meeting and so they haven’t done anything for him to be apprehensive about. It describes Curley’s vision as ‘at once calculating and pugnacious’ expressing the aggressive, confrontational personality, as if he was ‘sizing Lennie up’. He appeared to be picking on Lennie due to his size, he tells George to ‘let the big guy talk’ highlighting that he has noticed his figure and , as he was a thin, small man, he felt that it was essential to show Lennie that he is superior and a force not to be reckoned with. This suggests that he is jealous of those who are larger than him, which is supported by his clothing as ‘he wore high-heeled boots’ in an attempt to appear taller, more assertive and more imposing. Also this is an imperative and perfectly underlines Curley's belief in his natural authority. This reinforced a previous idea that Curley believes that authority and respect are inherited and not earned.
Towards the end of the passage, Curley begins to get agitated by Lennie’s decision not to talk and begins to ‘lash his body around’. Curley begins to question George’s intervention, until he discovers that they are travel companions. After this realisation Curley insinuates that they are in a homosexual relationship, as he says ‘oh, so it’s that way’. He could also be suggesting that George is exploiting Lennie and taking advantage of his vulnerability just as he did. This is because men of the time wouldn’t make long lasting relationships as they only cared for themselves and George, who is travelling with Lennie, is in a position as to where he could be taking Lennie’s pay-check. This accusation alone is disrespectful and so the reader recognises that Curley shouldn’t be associated with and that George and Lennie should just avoid him.
At that moment a young man came into the bunk house; a thin young man with a brown face, with brown eyes and a head of tightly curled hair. He wore a work glove on his left hand, and, like the boss, he wore high-heeled boots, "Seen my old man?" he asked. The swamper said, "He was here jus' a minute ago, Curley. Went over to the cook house, I think. ““I'll try to catch him,” said Curley. His eyes passed over the new men and he stopped. He glanced coldly at George and then at Lennie. His arms gradually bent at the elbows and his hands closed into fists. He stiffened and went into a slight crouch. His glance was at once calculating and pugnacious. Lennie squirmed under the look and shifted his feet nervously. Curley stepped gingerly close to him. "You the new guys the old man was waiting' for?" "We just come in,” said George. "Let the big guy talk.” Lennie twisted with embarrassment. George said, "S'pose he don't want to talk?" Curley lashed his
3.Presentation of relationships in 'To His Coy Mistress' and 'Ghazal' Both 'Ghazal' and 'To His Coy Mistress' present relationships as self-seeking and manipulative, as the narrators in both poems desire the sexual fulfilment of their lover. In 'To His Coy Mistress' Andrew Marvell uses form for effect. The narrator in the poem is trying to convince his love to have sex with him, and his whole argument can be seen as humorous and playful. One way we see this is through the use of rhyming couplets which are employed throughout the poem: 'Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, Lady, were no crime'. The extended use of rhyming couplets has a comic effect in this poem as the fast paced rhymes read like..
In 'To His Coy Mistress' Andrew Marvell uses form for effect. The narrator in the poem is trying to convince his love to have sex with him, and his whole argument can be seen as humorous and playful. One way we see this is through the use of rhyming couplets which are employed throughout the poem: 'Had we but world enough, and time, This coyness, Lady, were no crime'. The extended use of rhyming couplets has a comic effect in this poem as the fast paced rhymes read like a collection of little jokes with fast punch lines. This shows that the narrator is keen to use rhyming couplets as a method for creating humour, in the hope that this humour will persuade his love to consent to sexual intercourse. Similarly, Mimi Khalvati's poem 'Ghazal' uses rhyme, but here the poetic device is employed for a different purpose. In this poem, the last but one words in each stanza rhyme with each other: 'woo/cue', 'tattoo/subdue' and so on. Whereas the rhyme is used in 'To His Coy Mistress' to create a comic edged persuasion, the rhyme found in Ghazal is linked to the poetic form. The Ghazal is an ancient form of Arabic love poetry which follows a strict pattern that includes the rhyme detailed above. Khalvati's use of this ancient form of poem suggests that the love felt by the speaker is both timeless and unending. Like 'To His Coy Mistress', the narrator seeks sexual gratification from their lover, but rather than use humour to persuade they are using an ancient poetic form which suggests their love is timeless.This is a direct contrast to the desperate lack of time felt by the narrator in 'To His Coy Mistress', who laments that there is not 'time enough', another element to his persuasion. Both poems use religious imagery to persuade their lover of the sincerity and purity of their love, once again in an aim to receive physical gratification. In 'To His Coy Mistress' the narrator explains that he would 'love you ten years before the Flood'. The capitalisation of 'Flood' here shows that this is a reference to the Biblical flood mentioned in the book of Genesis. The message here is clear: the narrator is trying to impress upon his listener the purity of his love through the use of religious imagery. This is also a technique found in the poem 'Ghazal', where the narrator explains that she is happy for her love to end up as 'Shamsuddin to my Rumi'. The name 'Shamsuddin' is a Muslin name for 'Sun of the Faith', and this line is a reference to Rumi, a famous writer of Ghazals who wrote to his spiritual inspiration Shamsuddin. Just as we see in 'To His Coy Mistress', the narrator is using religious imagery to suggest the sincerity and purity of her love. However, this religious purity is completely contradicted through the sexual imagery also used in both poems. Having used religious imagery to connote purity of love, the narrator in 'To His Coy Mistress' follows up on the very next line with the phallic imagery of how his 'vegetable love should grow'. This is a sexual metaphor referring the the narrator's penis growing in arousal, and the juxtaposition of religious and sexual imagery is used to highlight the insincerity of the supposed purity of emotion. With this example of phallic imagery it is clear that the narrator is simply trying every possible angle to persuade his love to have sex with him. This is also found in the poem 'Ghazal', where a wealth of sexual imagery is seen, most notably in the direction 'come and I'll come too'. This is a reference to orgasm, further enforced with the line 'die for my sake, my love, every night renew me'. The use of the word 'die' in this line is a metaphor for orgasm, stemming from the French notion 'Le Petit Mort' ('The Little Death') which has been used as a reference for orgasm since the days of Shakespeare. By juxtaposing the language of religion with such overtly sexual and base imagery, the reader is sure to question just how genuine the professed love truly is. In conclusion, both poems present relationships as self seeking and manipulative. In both poems we find narrators who desire their loved one with a desperate need for fulfilment. This desperation sees them aim to persuade through the use of religious imagery, sexual imagery and rhyme.…...

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...Birling is the head of the household and the director of a business. These two establishments unite to corruptly result in the death of Eva Smith – who symbolises the ‘thousands’ like her who live in poverty. Birling symbolises materialistic and self-serving Capitalism. Priestley uses Birling’s style of speech to undermine the audience’s respect for him, and to undercut subtly the outward confidence of his ‘easy manner’. He speaks often with interrupted diction, Priestley frequently gives him dashes and pauses and incomplete sentences. For example, he hesitates when referring to Gerald’s parents, ‘Sir George and – er – Lady Croft.’ This certainly suggests not only that he is socially out of his depth, but also a sense of intellectual uncertainty, as though Birling lacks the intelligence that more precise diction would imply. His speech about the good economic climate of 1912 and how war will not happen is peppered with dashes and hesitations. The audience is well aware, through dramatic irony that global conflict in World War One would soon follow and that Birling is wrong which further undermines his credibility. Here, his broken diction suggests a lack of logic and reason. The overall effect is to suggest that Birling is intellectually weak, and blusters and brags; he is characterised as arrogant and inept. His stumbling manner of speaking is juxtaposed with the confident fluency of the Inspector, who seems all the more trustworthy in comparison. A key device used by......

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An Inspector Calls - Mr Birling

...J.B. Priestly presents Arthur Birling as a self-obsessed, work oriented “hard-headed business man” in Act 1. The stage directions describe him as a “heavy-looking, rather portentous man” giving an impression that he looks rather threatening. He is very traditional and speaks formally, even around his family. He has worked hard to raise himself up the social ladder and is proud to think that he’s going to be knighted. Even at his daughter’s engagement party, Birling’s head is still wrapped around business and this is evidently shown when he says “Your father and I have been friendly rivals in business for some time now.... and now you’ve brought us together, and perhaps we may look forward to the time when Crofts and Birlings are no longer competing….” He also states that the party is “one of the happiest nights of my life” but this could have a double meaning for not only is Sheila getting married, but it can be seen as a business opportunity. These quotes show that Birling is very work oriented and uses Sheila’s marriage for his own selfish reasons. As well as being selfish, Birling is rather overconfident in his opinions. His mistaken view of the “unsinkable Titanic” is an example of dramatic irony. This is ironic as the Titanic actually sank but only the audience is aware of this. Another example of the use of dramatic irony is when Birling says “The Germans don’t want war. Nobody wants war….. I say there isn’t a chance of war” This is also ironic as two years after......

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How Do You Respond to This Extract and How Does Priestley Make You Respond as You Do by the Ways He Writes? (30 Marks)

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How Does Stienbeck Present the Character in the Novel of Mice and Men.

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