give evidence from the text and talk about all the characters
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How are different attitudes And perceptions shown Between generations in The play 'An Inspector Calls'? Older and younger generations' perceptions on different aspects of day-to-day life vary greatly in the play 'An Inspector Calls'. Priestly uses character manipulation to highlight the conflicting opinions, morals and social standards between the two generations. He uses their emotions to unravel their attitudes towards their positions in society, and roles in Edwardian society, through the death of someone they all allegedly knew and whose life they affected negatively. Arthur Birling has money and status and although he has worked for them: his social standards, expectations and opinions of himself and others are dissimilar to those of people around him, or underneath him in his opinion. Birling's perceptions on life in general are very optimistic and he is rather dismissive of possible threats, '....you'll hear some people say war's inevitable. And to that I say - fiddlesticks! The Germans don't want war. Nobody wants war, except some half-civilized folks in the Balkans. And why? There's too much at stake these days. Everything to lose and nothing to gain by war.' Arthur foresees the future economy to be blooming and to be reaching new heights in wealth, how he sees it is: people are in work with a fair wage and so the economy is going to continue to prosper. Arthur believes a man's duty is to provide for his family and a man is always head of the family, 'a man has to make his own way- has to look after himself - and his family too, of course, when he has one'. Children's roles are to behave, work hard and respect himself and his wife and not to answer back or disagree with them for they are the mature, responsible figures in the family. Birling puts down Eric several times in the play, 'You've got a lot to learn yet!' he doesn't think they should be handed everything on a plate. He wants Eric to learn to take responsibility but how can he when he isn't given any? He thinks the younger generation are irresponsible in the way they act and the things they say. Arthur considers male's the dominant sex, they have to go to work, they have to lay down the laws and the women stay at home and care for the children and make sure the husbands needs are attended to.
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The older generation, Mr and Mrs Birling, show a bit more embarrassment at the fact thewir thoughtless treatment of the young girl has been revealed. They don't regret it; it's just caused them to be uncomfortable with their actions. Mr Birling is more worried he'll lose his pending knighthood than he is over the fact a young girl may have lost her life. Mrs Birling one the other hand, has huge problems even conceding that this 'lower class' girl even has feelings; she doesn't see that Eva has any indiviuality of her own
Sheila and Eric are a bit more human. Eric had tried to take care of Ev, even if he was at the time no more than a drunken youth. Sheila is mortified by her her part in the girl losing her job, Both of the young adults show more compassion and concern than their parental counterparts.
An Inspector Calls