At the end of the play Mrs Birling’s final line ,’ They’re over tired. ‘ is followed after Sheila and Eric stating that the family can’t continue as before but here, as in the beginning of the play, Mrs Birling dismisses it.
Priestly did this to emphasise the fact that she is completely unchanged by the inspector and will continue to live her life in this cycle of events as she refuses to make a significant change.
This shows just how narrow-minded she is which Priestly uses to voice his opinion of capitalism as he feels that all capitalists are reflection of Mrs Birling – narrow minded and arrogant.
Mrs Birling is portrayed by Priestly as petty as she refuses Eva Smith help from her charity simply due to the fact that she claimed her name was, ‘Mrs Birling.
Producers who wish to avoid this tricky business, which involves two re-settings of the scene and some very accurate adjustments of the extra flats necessary would be well advised to dispense of an ordinary realistic set, if only because the dining table becomes a nuisance.
The lighting should be pink and intimate until the Inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder.) At the rise of the curtain, the four Birlings and Gerald are seated at the table, with Arthur Birling at one end, his wife at the other, Eric downstage, and Sheila and Gerald seated upstage.
Priestley uses this to represent Mr and Mrs Birling as here he states that they are continually going around in this cycle as they are incapable of making a significant change to break this cycle – which also portrays a key theme represented in the play of the notion of change which is un-welcomed by the older generations.
However this could also interpret that this cycle will continue for generations to come – as these same capitalist views will be carried on by Sheila and Gerald.
Edna, the parlourmaid, is just clearing the table, which has no cloth, of dessert plates and champagne glasses, etc., and replacing them with a decanter of port, cigar box, and cigarettes. All five are in the evening dress of the period, the men in tails and white ties, not dinner jackets.
Arthur Birling is a heavy-looking, rather portentous looking man in his middle fifties with fairly easy manners but rather provincial in his speech. (to Edna, who is about to go, with tray.) all right, Edna.