The Idea Of Rhetoruality In Mrs. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

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Register to read the introduction… The notion of maintaining a certain image is developed further by Priestly when we see Mrs Birling's embarrassment when her husband complements the cook, 'Arthur, you're not supposed to say such things-’ Her life is governed by her notion of correctness – as soon as someone behaves in a way which does not live up to their social expectations in society – she reprimands them. This expresses her narrow-mindedness as there is no flexibility here to step out of this stereotype – Priestly does this to portray the idea that in a capitalist society you are in a sense 'trapped' as there is no escaping these idealistic views thrust upon you from a very early stage which also implies that Mrs Birling is a product of her capitalist upbringing. This introduces Ouspenky's theory to the play which suggests that after death we will re-enter our lives in a continuous cycle of the same events from birth …show more content…
However she follows this by ,'Arthur, what about this toast of yours?' - she immediately changes the subject here as Eric states, 'if you think that's the best she can do...' She refuses to accept anything other than perfection from her children so when she is faced with less than this she dismisses it – which is also the attitude she has towards Eva Smith as she is not at all accepting of her. This shows just how narrow-minded she is which Priestly uses to voice his opinion of capitalism as he feels that all capitalists are reflection of Mrs Birling – narrow minded and …show more content…
I won't believe it.' Here Steinbeck uses italics for the word 'won't' again showing how even after learning that she is to blame for the death of the own grandchild she still 'won't' accept the truth – which highlights the position of society at the time, as Priestly suggests here that society 'won't change despite the need to – just like Mrs Birling. The way in which Mrs Birling is trapped could also be interpreted as situational irony as the reader knows she would not apply the same standards to her own family as she states the father of Eva's child should be ' dealt with very severely,' yet Eric is condemned by her

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