One of my theories that I will be using for my English exam (on Friday) is that the Inspector is like Moses and the Birling family being like the pharaoh. The pharaoh in the bible decides to free the slaves and then doesn't and then God punishes him. In the book Mr and Mrs Birling originally doesn't accept any blame for what they did to "Eva Smith" but then the Inspector changes their minds. But soon after the inspector was exposed as being 'not a real inspector' they revert to their old mindset (except Eric and Sheila) just like the pharaoh does.

I believe in the introduction of the play it briefly mentions the seven deadly sins and below is who I believe the each sin represents.

7 deadly sins and possible character representations:

  • Lust (Eric/Gerald)

  • Gluttony (Mr Birling/Gerald/Mrs Birling)

  • Greed (Birling/Gerald/Mrs Birling)

  • Sloth (Eric? I dont fully understand the definition of sloth)

  • Wrath (Sheila)

  • Envy (Sheila)

  • Pride (Gerald/Mr Birling/Mrs Birling)


I'd argue this instead;

  • Eric: gluttony (due to his over-indulgence with alcohol)
  • Sheila: envy (she was envious of Eva's looks)
  • Mrs Birling: pride (she looks down upon Eva and other working class people)
  • Arthur: greed (he fires Eva because she wanted more money "lower costs higher prices")
  • Gerald: lust (due to his affair)
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  • Inspector - Pride - for his large ego and he thinks he can and should change peoples idea
  • Mr B - Gluttony - large size and is the embodiment of the rich and stingy
  • Sheila - Envy - Of the girl in the shops looks and being able to wear the dress so well
  • Gerald - Lust - for his affair with Eva
  • Mrs B - Sloth - Didn't do anything to help Eva even though she was capable of it
  • Eric - Greed - Stealing from his father
  • Eva - Wrath - Her anger with them and life in general is now affecting them
    • Or as an embodiment of the people and how they will rise and destroy the rich "in fire and blood and anguish" not referencing WW2 but revolution
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