Social class importance

Topics: Social class, Working class, Sociology Pages: 2 (1075 words) Published: April 28, 2015
The class system is a way of defining people using various factors. These include family, possessions, wealth, friends, and social standing. The class system isn’t as important today as it was in 1912, when the play is set, or even in 1945, when the play was written. The class system is extremely important in An Inspector Calls, as it is the basis for the moral undertones running through the play. The gap between the Birlings and Eva Smith in terms of class is enormous, and this is used by Priestly to show his own views on the system, and the problems inherent to it. Priestly criticizes a large number of the beliefs commonly held by the stereotypical upper class around the early 19th century. For example, many of the rich thought that they were obviously the best people because they had power and glory. This led them to believe that they were actually higher quality humans along with being better off than the lower classes.. Priestly tries to destroy this particular idea by having a cast with poor and rich, but with the poor being decidedly better than the rich, from a moral point of view at least. The upper class Birlings would be expected to be problem-free and blameless in any scandal, but this is not the case. And Eva, who as a low-class girl would be expected to “Get into trouble” by those better off than her, decided not to. In fact, the only trouble Eva ever gets into is to come into contact with the Birlings! These show the stereotypes that people thought in at the time. When Eva is mentioned to Mrs. Birling, she says, “Get into trouble? Go on the streets?” This shows us how the upper class saw those lower than themselves, as thugs and beggars. Mrs. Birling never even considers that Eva could have been trying to make something of her life, she automatically thinks the worst. Mrs. Birling’s thoughts on the lower classes are mirrored by most of her family: her husband in particular. He doesn’t even take the time to remember the names of the girls that work...
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