An Inspector Calls characters

In literature class we had to create a post in our blog finding evidence about An Inspector Calls  and quotations for our characters descriptions. Here is my work with Sybilla Correa Perkins and Ines Galmarini.

 

Arthur Birling:

– Tries to impress the inspector with his social status and fails.

– He is proud that he is going to be knighted. He thinks he is “Absolutely First Class”.

– He claims its one of the best nights of his life because the marriage between Gerald and Sheila will improve his business.

– He is extremely selfish, ” A man has to make his own way”, he also thinks that firing Eva Smith wasn’t a bad thing. The only thing he is worried abut is his and his family’s reputation, he doesnt learn the lesson.

 

Mr Sybill Birling

– Mr Sybil was a very cold woman and a snob, who cared a lot about social classes.

-She really dislikes the inspector and she even lies to him.

– She sees Sheila and Eric as children, and tries to hide their issues, like his drinking and her marriage problems.

– She admits to have judged Eva Smith before even talking to her and she saw it as her duty not to help her. She only sees people as their social class and not how they truly are.

-Mrs Sybil, like her husband still doesn’t see anything wrong in her actions and doesn’t accept the major responsability she has.  “then he’d be entirely responsible – because the girl wouldn’t have come to us, an have been refused to assistance, if it hadn’t been for him”. She blames it on other people.

 

Eric Birling

– Eric is an akward character, with a tense realationship with his father. He is also a hard drinker.

-He supports workers like Sheila he feels that they should have better a lifestyle, “Why shouldnt they try for higher wages” he cares more about the people that their money. When he retells the story of Eva Smith he is very guilty, frustrated and he can’t believe he did such stupid thing, he says ” Oh – My God! How stupid it all is”. He actually has a sense of responsibility and he is appalled that his parents don’t.

 

Sheila:

– In the beginning of the book she is described as no more than a pretty face but when the inspector arrives we discover that she is not as naive and shallow as we think she is.

– She immediately shows her compassion for Eva Smith, she is full of guilt  and she blames herself as “really responsable” and starts to change.

-She catches up on what the inspector is saying very rapidly, she is the first one to know that Eric is the one who got Eva pregnant. She tells her mother to “Stop, Stop! ” just as the inspector starts, so she picks the information quickly. She is also the first one to suspect that the inspector isnt real.

– When Gerald admits that he cheated on her she doesn’t get angry she acts very mature. She is a developing character because she gets smarter and matures by the end of the story.

– She is also surprised with her parents behavior,” If it didn’t end traggically, lucky for us but it might have had”  she reminds them that even if it didn’t happen is still thought them a lesson.

 

Eva Smith

-Her parents were dead, she was in the working class and she came from outside brumley

-The Inspector says she kept a secret diary that made him understand and know about the last two years of her life.

-In act 3 the family starts to wonder if Eva Smith was real. “We’ve no proof it was the same photograph and therefore no proof it was the same girl”. Yet the final phone call, announcing that a police inspector is shortly to arrive at the Birlings’ house to investigate the suicide of a young girl, makes us realise that maybe Eva Smith did exist after all.

-Eva Smith could represent every woman of her class.

 

Inspector Goole

-He works very systematically; he likes to deal with “one person and one line to enquiry at a time”. His method is to confront a suspect with a piece of information and then make them talk.

-He is a figure of authority. He deals with each member of the family very firmly. He cuts through Mrs Birling’s obstructiveness.

-He seems to know and understand everything.

-He knows the history of Eva Smith and the Birlings’ involvement in it, even though she died only hours ago.

-He knows things are going to happen.

-He is obviously in a great hurry towards the end of the play. Does he knows that the real inspector is shortly going to arrive?

-His final speech is like a sermon or a politician’s. “We are responsible for eachother”, “fire and blood and anguish” that will result if they do not pay attention to what he has taught them.

-All the mystery suggests that the Inspector is not a ‘real’ person.

 

Gerald:
– He is an aristot his family is not over impressed by Gerald’s engagement to Sheila since the Crofts wanted more money and the Birlings wanted a nobility title
– He is not as willing as Sheila to admit his part in the girl’s death.
– He did have some genuine feeling for Daisy
– He tries to prove that “that man was not a police officer” so that the family can forgive and forget. He seems to throw his energy into “protecting” himself rather than “changing” himself (unlike Sheila)
– At the end of the play, he has not changed. Also, Sheila is unsure whether to take the back of the engagement ring.

Essay S1 and S2: Passion

In our literature class we had to write an essay about the poem “Passion” by Kathleen Raine with students from Senior 1. I wrote mine with Anouk Laferrer. [task]

As you can see, the essay is divided in two colours. The blues sentences are written by Anouk and the green ones by me.

 

An Inspector Calls

Pato, our literature teacher, gave us a task. We have to make a mindmap showing Eva Smith’s relation with all the characters of the story.

Mindmap:

mindmap

Moreover, we have to answer some questions from the act 2

Answers:

  • 1. What is the mood at the dining room at the start of act 2?

The mood at the dining room at the beginig of act 2 is tense. Since they were talking about Gerald’s relationship with Daisy Renton (Eva Smith), and they were unaccompanied since the inspector had left them alone to discuss their problem. Here the mood became to “stress”/more tense, since they were going to get married and Sheila discovered that Gerald had been cheating her with another woman.

  • 2. Why do Gerald and Sheila react “bitterly” to each other? (bitterly=disappointment // angry but sad)

They acted this way because Gerald cheated on Sheila with Daisy Renton (Eva Smith) in the summer.

  • 6. How does Mrs Birling re-enter the dinning-room? Why does Sheila warn her?

Mrs Birling re-enters the room with a lot of confidence. She believes that the Inspector was going to lose time asking questions to her. We say this because Mrs Birling says “I am Mrs Birling you know. (….) we’ll be glad to tell you anything you want to know, I don’t think we can help you much…”. This quote proves that Mrs Birling is self-assured that she she is not involved in the case. However, Sheila tries to warn her she is, since Sheila could read the inspector very well. Sheila knows that the Inspector knew something about her mother in connection with Eva Smith. 

  • 7. What is Mrs Birling’s attitude to Eva Smith?

Mrs. Birling’s attitude towards Eva Smith wasn’t acceptable. Since Eva came to an organization, which help specific people, and asked for financial assistance. Mrs. Birling, who is a very important member of it, used her power for the wrong. She convenced the Committee to not help this girl, because she said her name was “Mrs. Birling”. Also she said that the father of the baby is the one who almoust have all the blame and he should help the woman, he was the only one who was guilty. 

  • 19. How does the Inspector’s attitude start to change?

(in process)

  • 20. What makes Sheila suddenly aware of Eric’s involvement?

Sheila is aware of Eric’s involvement when she puts all the pieces together. As we can see, Sheila was the first who could understand the real situation and she was the onlyone. After listening the story of her mother she started to think who the father might be. She thought, Eva said this guy was a drunk and a young man who did’t have a job, she came to the organization as Mrs. Birling, and the inspector insisted that he wanted to talk with Eric. So she made a conclusion, all these things helped Sheila to realize Eric’s involvement.

  • 21. Why does Mrs Birling react in a “frightened” way?

She reacts in that way because of two main reasons. First, because she doesn’t believe his son was able to do such a thing. She doesn’t want to accept reality.“I don’t believe it, I won’t believe it” This quote express the feelings Mrs Birling had when she realized that her son was the father of the child of that innocent girl who suffered a lot as a result of Birling  family’s actions. Secondly, because she had blamed that unknown father the hole act and when she conclud that she was talking about her own son, she was totally regret. 

  • 22. What is the mood at the dining-room as Eric re-enters?

Everyone in the dining-room are in shock when Eric re-enters, because they started thinking the same way as Sheila.

 

 

The Lost Woman

Today we read a poem called “The Last Woman” by Patricia beer. We had to find information about the author and we have to check a slideshare of contemporary literature features that the students of Senior 2 made.

 

Slide Share

This presentation was made by two students from Senior 2 about Contemporary LIterature.

 

Patricia Beer

Patricia Beer (1924-1999) was born in Exmouth, Devon, into a Plymouth Brethren family, a childhood she recalls vividly in her autobiography Mrs Beer’s House. Educated at Exmouth Grammar School, Exeter University and Oxford, she lived in Italy lecturing in English and later taught at Goldsmith’s College. Her niece, the novelist Patricia Duncker, recalls the Beer of this period as being “glamorous, widely travelled and extremely well-read”. Certainly the last two qualities are evident in her poetry though her culture and learning are worn lightly. She began her writing career in the 50s and was at first influenced by the poetics of the preceding decade, with is reliance on what she termed the “myth-kitty”. However, she soon found a more modest tone suited her better and established the style that she largely adhered to for the rest of her life. Key subjects and recurring themes in her writing tend to the traditional – the workings of good and evil, God and religious belief, love, nature and the passing of time – but she brought to bear on these a wary and wry power of observation, what Duncker has called “her ruthless imagination”. As well as her seven collections of poetry and autobiography she published a volume of literary criticism on Victorian fiction, Reader: I Married Him, and a novel set in 16th century Devon, Moon’s Ottery. Following her marriage she moved back to the county of her birth and lived there until her death in 1999.

The two poems featured in the Archive are both about death, a subject she returned to constantly, in particular how the dead haunt the living. ‘The Lost Woman’ is an uncomfortable elegy for her mother which acknowledges the tendency to idealise the dead but also reveals a complex legacy of envy and insecurity. Unlike the placid, benign female muses of other poets, Beer’s mother speaks to her in sharp tones, undermining her authority as a writer. This is a struggle about voice, about who is allowed to speak and what they can say, and as such it’s instructive to hear the poem spoken aloud together with her revealing introduction. This time it’s the dead mother who has the last word: “I am not lost”. In style the poem is characteristic of Beer’s informal-sounding but tightly controlled verse – the basic rhyme structure is ababcc but the effect is softened through half-rhyme and enjambment. ‘The Conjuror’ displays an equally unshowy technique, together with an element of sly de-bunking humour reminiscent of Stevie Smith whom Beer knew. The idea of a conjuror’s grave is a strong one and Beer seizes on its implications with a spiky glee as she describes the ultimate vanishing trick.

 

Characteristics of Contemporary Literature

 

1. Uses code switching between elevated literary language and “lower” forms, between high art and low art

2. Deploys metafictional techniques to draw our attention to the work’s relationship (or non-relationship) to “reality”

3. Emphasizes performative nature of our identities; they aren’t “true” or natural but just seem that way because they are consistent and persistent

4. Emphasizes fragmentation in human experience of postmodern culture, and as an artistic strategy

5. Breaks down our faith in the supremacy of the rational, scientific human being (e.g. comparisons between animals and humans and machines)

6. Questions our ability to understand ourselves and our culture

7. Questions omniscience by questioning our ability to accurately see reality

8. Questions the link between language and reality (everything is a biased representation)

9. Depicts border-crossing and migration as fundamental to human experience

10. Emphasizes the permeability of old boundaries: between men and women; between the East and the West; between high and low culture

11. Shows people struggling to find meaning in a world that doesn’t offer us the old assurances (of either faith or science)