How does Priestley present women in An Inspector Calls?
Priestley presents women as quite masculine in the play to show that he is against the binary division. He does not agree that there are certain traits that are typical to men and women. He believes that people should be able to be what they want to be.
Firstly, Priestley shows Sheila to be quite masculine in the way that she says things. She speaks “bitterly”. The adverb “bitterly” suggests anger and hatred, which go against the idea that society has formed that girls are supposed to be polite and gentle. The audience will see that Sheila has a quick temper and isn’t the delicate and fragile character that the others seem to think she is. Therefore, Priestley uses the stage directions of how Sheila delivers her lines to present her as angry and quick tempered.
Priestley presents women as unequal to men, as at one point they are in a separate room to the men. This shows how they are often divided away from the men. We can also see this through Gerald’s lines, he says to Sheila “it’s bound to be unpleasant and disturbing” which shows how he believes that women should not be exposed to horrible things. Priestley does not believe in this binary division because he makes Sheila fight back, she refuses to leave. This shows she has masculine traits such as anger and the arguing back. Gerald is making Sheila less equal by suggesting she shouldn’t be exposed to something that he will be exposed to. The audience will see that Priestley is presenting women as argumentative and is showing how they are taking control of their own lives. Therefore, Priestley uses Gerald’s lines to present women as stronger than most think.
Priestley presents Mrs Birling as very controlling and dominant, which are traits associated with men. We can see that through Priestley’s use of stage directions. Mrs Birling enters “briskly and self-confidently”, which shows her control. “Briskly” is a harsh adverb, which implies a cold,...