Priestley makes social criticism of the time in which the play is set by, when the inspector calls round he interrupts Billing’s speech about how people should look out for themselves and their family “a man has to make his own way-has to look after himself- and his family too, of course”. Its during this speech the door bell rings the reason for the inspector calling at this time is he is trying to challenge what Birling is saying, this shows Priestley does not agree with what Birling said and how in his community people are like and think like Birling. One way that Priestley shows tension between Mr Birling and the inspector is through their different opinions; the inspector is there for and cares about the people in the community and actually wants to help, whereas Mr Birling doesn’t really care about anyone but himself, as he was talking about before the inspector came in he clearly states that “a man has to make his own way-has to look after himself- and his family too, of course” but it would seem to the audience that Mr Birling in face added “ and his family too” as an after thought, which would back up the fact that he only cares about himself.
At the start of act 1, Sheila and Gerald have known each other for about a year, and they are celebrating their engagement.’ Gerald comes from a rich, powerful, well-respected family who are in a higher class than the Birlings.
Throughout act 1 we don’t really learn anything about Gerald just that he is in a higher class than Sheila and that there was this one summer where he and Sheila didn’t see each other because Gerald was “awfully busy at the works”, This might lead the audience to think that Gerald is quite a secretive lying character in some parts of the play but maybe pleasant and loving in others.
In the beginning of the play, Sheila and Gerald’s relationship is unbalanced because Gerald sees himself as the dominant one, and he is controlling. Sheila is naïve, quite immature for her age, and...