English Literature GCSE – An Inspector Calls – Quotes for the Theme of Gender

Here are seven super-useful quotes from J. B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls. They all back up one of the major themes in the book: Gender.

“I hate those hard-eyed dough-faced women.” – Gerald. This is a nice, short quote, so worth trying to learn. It shows Gerald’s attitude towards women. He feels that they should look the way he wants and expects them to.

“…not only something to make ’em look prettier – but – well, a sort of sign or token of their self-respect.” – Mr Birling. Mr Birling’s views on women seem rather stereotypical here.

“She was claiming elaborate fine feelings and scruples that were simply absurd in a girl in her position.” – Mrs Birling. Oh dear. It seems that Mrs Birling has some out-of-date views too.

“We were paying the usual rates and if they didn’t like those rates, they could go and work somewhere else”. – Mr Birling. Here we have Mr Birling talking about Eva Smith. It’s a great quote, applying to these two characters and also the themes of gender, power and social class.

“young and fresh and charming”. – Gerald. Eva Smith is also being referred to here. Again, this is a very short quote, so really worth trying to learn.

“except for all last summer, when you never came near me” – Sheila. Here we have Sheila addressing Gerald.

“You’re not the kind of father a chap could go to when he’s in trouble” – Eric. Mr Birling hears some hard truths. This quote can also apply to the theme of responsibility.

Which quotes would you choose to discuss the theme of gender in An Inspector Calls?

What do you think about this theme?

Let me know in the comments below!

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