Below are some helpful notes
to guide you in answering the question:
Firstly, although this question is about Mrs Birling’s willingness to ac
cept or refuse
responsibility about Eva’s death, you are asked about how the impact of it is
throughout the play
so you need to write about her behaviour
play, including giving ‘due weight’ to her reactions in the final scene.
ic impact means how is the impact of her behaviour shown dramatically on
it might be through her speeches; her behaviour to other characters; and
there might be evidence in the stage directions.
Remember, you should focus on how
particular effects through
language and stage directions
Mrs Birling isn’t real, so you must write about why
Priestley has her behave in a particular way.
Your introduction should give a brief overview or summary of whether Mrs Birling
does accept respo
nsibility or not and how this fits in to the theme of responsibility that
pervades the play. You might start with something like, ‘The way different characters
view the idea of responsibility is central to the play: the inspector talks of a social
ibility whereas each of the other characters initially only refers to a
responsibility to themselves and their desires. Mrs Birling’s refusal to accept
responsibility at the end of Act two is shocking but not surprising to many audiences.
to use some
of the following points
in the main body of your essay
Mrs Birling’s behaviour at the beginning of the play
the stage direction which shows
she is physically distant from her husband and Priestley’s description of her.
the room on page 29 she is described in a particular way which
suggests she feels in control and ‘business
like’. The fact that the second time she
speaks is to scold her husband is telling. She tells Sheila even at the beginning that
she has to ‘realize