Are you struggling with An Inspector Calls?

Do you not know your key quotes?

Perhaps you need help with textual analysis?

Or maybe it is essay writing that is proving difficult at present.

Here is my explainer video analysing the opening stage directions to get you started – watch this first.

Now you understand the opening of the play you’ll probably want to start exploring Mr Birling’s character.

This can be done by watching the 5 key quotes videos on my YouTube playlist.

Let’s revise Mr Birling…


Who is Mr Birling?

You can learn how to write an analytical paragraph about Mr Birling by watching this and making notes.

Mr Birling is a capitalist which explains why socialist writer J.B Priestley presents him unfavourably and makes him appear foolish.

Mr Birling’s character is presented as rigid and difficult with the audience learning to dislike him.

By the end of the play Mr Birling has alienated his children and most of the audience.

Here is the opening of an example paragraph about Mr Birling’s character –

“The exposition of the play starts by describing Mr Birling as a “heavy-looking portentous man… rather provincial in his speech”. It opens by describing him sitting around a dining room in a large suburban house. Mr Birling is immediately perceived to be a upper-middle-class man with privilege. This descriptive statement in the stage direction alludes to the fact that Mr Birling is successful, however, the use of the adjective “portentous” proves that he is obnoxious and likes to elevate himself above his social standing.”

Mr Birling’s character is best explored through the opening stage directions…

“This urge to prove himself highlights how he prides himself on his social class and that he values class privilege highly, perhaps this is one of his most important values. This personal importance of social class could advocate that he even demeans people of a lower class, which is later proven true. The use of the adjective “provincial” conveys that he has always been confined to the comforts and familiarities of Brumley. This alongside the adjective portrays that he is narrow-minded and is entrenched in his views, especially when it comes to evaluating a person in their class (which he does to Eva Smith). The language creates a portrayal of Mr Birling as a class concerned man. Therefore, Mr Birling is presented as an obnoxious character.”

If remembering quotes is difficult for you then use a flashcard to help you remember Mr Birling’s key quotes and re-watch my videos to aid your revision.

Use this one (you can see what it looks like below).

Mr Birling key quotes
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If you want to see all of Mr Birling’s key quotes then you can download them here and I would suggest using them to make mindmaps and cue cards.

Above all, these varied revision activities combined with re-watching the videos linked above, should also boost your confidence in this topic.

If you’d like even more FREE English resources then take a look here.

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