This shows he does not care about his employees but only about the profits they are making him, he couldn’t care less what happens to them as long as he is making his profits. This shows that Birling thinks people under him do not deserve a second chance in life. However, Scrooge only had one person working for him because it was cheaper, but, similarly, he was as up tight as Birling was about the way he treated his employees and also treated them informally. He had a man called Bob Crachet working for him who had a big family and was paid just enough to feed them all, but Scrooge was so tight that he didn’t even want Crachet to have Christmas day off:
“A poor excuse for picking a mans pocket every twenty-fifth of December! Said scrooge. Buttoning his grey coat to the chin. ‘But I suppose you must have the whole day. Be here all the earlier next morning.” This shows that he is very tight because, unlike Birling, Scrooge does not even let his employee have Christmas day off. This shows he treats his employees very un-fairly and still pays the limited rate.
Birling and Scrooge have social consideration, but in different ways. Birling cares what people think of him and wants to show people that he is superior. He wants people who are lower class than him to see what he has achieved and it is like he is laughing in their faces. He thinks that people lower class than himself are owned by him and if he can achieve so well in life, why are they not able to. He likes to boast a lot about what he has achieved and is so confident in himself that he thinks he is going to get a knighthood. “You see, I was Lord Mayor here two years ago when Royalty visited us, and I’ve always been regarded as a sound useful party man. So-well- I gather there’s a very good chance of a knighthood- so long as we behave ourselves.”
This shows that if he gets a knighthood, then he would have something new to boast about and people would think of him as an even higher class than he thinks he already is. When the Inspector starts to prevail the conversations and gets the truth out of the family, Birling tries to build a wall between him and the Inspector by talking about him being mayor and may be getting a knighthood, but the inspector knocks this wall down any way and gets the truth. Also Birling likes to be in the conversation and cuts in here and there to try and show his importance to the Inspector.
Scrooge also has social consideration, but his is a different type. He likes people to respect him and leave him alone. He does not have the same views as Birling does about lower class people, but does not socialise with people at all. The homeless and people walking in the street know who he is and do not stop to ask him for money or to ask him how he is. They do not socialise with him at all because they are scared of him and what his reply may be. He thinks that people who need charity should find their own way to success instead of getting charity from other people. He has a lot of money and even then he does not give any of it to charity: “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die. ‘If they would rather die, ‘said scrooge, ‘they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population. Besides – excuse me – I don’t know that.'”
This shows that he does not care about other people and only cares about himself. He goes on to say that his life only consists of himself and no one else. Both Birling and Scrooge own businesses. Birling is proud of his business and talks about it nearly all the time in the play. He thinks about it more than he thinks about his family and it means a lot to him. He describes himself as a hard headed businessman and thinks he knows everything about businesses. He cannot wait for Sheila and Gerald to get married because then his business and Gerald’s business joins together and both will make a large profit: “Your father and I have been friendly rivals in business for some time now – though Crofts Ltd are both older and bigger than Birling and Co. – and now you’ve brought us together, and perhaps we may look forward to the time when Crofts and Birlings are no longer competing, but are working together – for lower costs and higher prices.”
This shows that Birling’s business means more to him than his family does. He is willing to let his daughter marry Gerald just because of his business. He does not care if they are going to be happy together or not. Scrooge also cares about his business a lot. His whole life is his business. He was happier when Marley died because he had the business to himself and so had double the money. Scrooge is also proud of his business and works everyday of the year, even if he is sick. He has one employee but he is not polite even to him. He cared so much about the money he earned that he was mean with the amount of coal he put on the fire. It was hardly warm at all in the office to keep anyone warm, but Scrooge would not let Bob put any more coal on the fire:
“But he couldn’t replenish it, for Scrooge kept the coal-box in his own room; and so surely as the clerk came in with the shovel, the master predicted that it would be necessary for them to part”. This shows that Scrooge is greedy with his money and even in the middle of winter, only lets his employee put a limited amount of coal on the fire. Birling does not change by the Inspectors visit. He still thinks that people lower class than him are insignificant. But he cares what people think about him, even knowing what he has done to Eva. He still thinks he deserves his knighthood and only cares about making money with Gerald’s company.
He fails to accept responsibility for Eva’s death and thinks that none of it is his fault. He does not care that she has died. Birlings philosophy of life remains the same although the Inspector has visited. He still thought the Titanic would not sink, but it did, and he said that there would be no world war, but there was. Birling was less likely to change than Scrooge because the outsiders in A Christmas Carol showed Scrooge his life and what would happen to him if he carried on in the same manner. Whereas Birling who was only visited by one outsider (the inspector), did not do much to change his mind and so he remained the same.
He is more sociable than Scrooge. Scrooge is like a miser and likes his own company. His business is his life. His only friend was Marley who died. Scrooge changes for the better because of the outsiders visit. The novel shows how he changes at the end. Dickens shows how people can change if they are given a second chance like Scrooge did. Birling was not given as much of a chance to change as Scrooge, because scrooge had the advantage of four ghosts. Priestly shows that some people are so involved in there own world that they do not realise what they are doing to other people. He shows how Birling was given a second chance but failed to accept it. It was obviously too late for him to change but the inspector did change some of the characters in ‘An Inspector Calls’.