Differences Between Older And Younger Generation In An Inspector Calls

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John B Priestley’s play, “An Inspector Calls’ was written after the Second World War during the Victorian and Edwardian period. During this period was when division between the behaviour of the older and younger generations could be clearly recognised. The older generation consist of Mr and Mrs Birling whom throughout the play fail to admit that they had any part in the death of Eva, as their reputation is the only thing that concerns them. Conversely the younger generation, Sheila and Eric feel a huge guilt about the death and automatically take responsibility for her suicide as they feel like they have broken a moral duty. By utilising a range of different methods, Priestly is able to successfully present the older and younger generations successfully throughout his play. One way he does this is by presenting his characters in an effective way.
He effectively presents the older generation, Mrs Birling, as more traditional since she has such a high status. When speaking about Eva Smith she says ‘’girls of that class...’, this shows the lack of interest Mrs. Birling has for that specific class as they are lower and less fortunate
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The horror of her death strikes them in Act 1 when Priestley writes “Between us, we drove that girl to commit suicide.” This illustrates that Sheila and Eric, the younger generation, feel as though they are accountable for Eva’s death. The word ‘drove’ illustrates that they pushed her to commit suicide. It could suggest that they feel like they weren’t just a small factor that caused her death but they caused it entirely. Rather than pushing the blame of Eva’s death on to someone else, as the older generation clearly do, they are subconsciously finding ways to blame themselves. This indicates that the younger generation are ironically more mature and responsible. They hold themselves responsible for her

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