An Inspector Calls is a three-act drama, which takes place on a single night in 1912, and focuses on the Birling family, who live in a wealthy but not particulary homely house in Brumley. The story begins when the mysterious Inspector Goole calls unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling family. The idea of the play, and particularly the role of the inspector, is to try to bring the Birling family to understand that they have a moral responsibility for the death of Eva Smith, if not a legal one. In Act Three, the Inspector tells the Birling family: “The girl killed herself and died a horrible death. But each of you helped to kill her. Remember that. Never forget it.” But who was really the
How does JB Priestley present the older and younger generations differently throughout the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ (45 mins)
In the play An Inspector Calls, Priestley uses different characters to portray women. At the start of the play, Sheila is seen as fragile, materialistic and inferior to the men in her life, which is typically the view of higher-class women. This is followed by the perspective of lower class women having excellent morals yet being disposable, which is seen through Eva Smith’s character. This contradicts to Mrs Birling’s control on others and her strong social class views.
John Boynton Priestley was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on September 13th 1984. The play “An Inspector Calls” was written by him in 1945, and came onstage in 1914. An Inspector calls, is a play that revolves around the apparent suicide of a young woman called Eva Smith. In the play, the unsuspecting Birling family are visited by the mysterious Inspector Goole. Priestley uses a variety of different techniques, especially language and quotations, to contrast and elicit differing responses to Mr Birling and Inspector Goole.
Priestley’s Main Aim in An Inspector Calls JB Priestly wrote ‘An Inspector Calls’ to enhance the message that ‘we don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other’. This is something Priestly felt strongly about and he succeeded in representing his views through the character of the Inspector in the play itself.
The moral of the play is that everyone is part of a community, and everyone is responsible for each other, it does not matter whether they are lower class or upper class (‘[W]e don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.’). Priestley believed in socialism, he uses the Inspector to express his thoughts about this. This is the main message that he wanted the audience to take away.
By constructing the Inspector as just and omniscient, Priestley encourages the audience to view left-wing values as morally virtuous. Through the Inspector's authority, commanding presence and stature Priestley makes a direct jab at the audience with the Inspector's last
In the play 'An Inspector Calls', many contrasts and paradox's are present and at the centre of them all is the character known as Inspector Goole. However, the inspector is not any ordinary inspector. I believe that the inspector is used as a device by Priestley to explore the wider themes of the play and to depict other characters true personalities. This essay will explore some of the techniques Priestley presents the inspector in An Inspector Calls.
Throughout Priestley’s play, ‘An inspector calls’, a main theme runs about responsibility and differentiation between classes. Each character is accountable of doing something that brought about the death of Eva smith. All the characters contribute to her death in one way or the other, and all of them are at fault for the death of
This is evident in “We are responsible for each other.” The inspector implies that everyone is responsible for one another, utterly contradicting Mr. Birling’s speech before he came in. The inspector is the most conflicting character in the entire play as he stands cool and hard before the Birlings and the audience and unveils the consequences of their actions on those below them. The dramatic irony reinforces that the inspector is in fact voicing Priestley’s message out, therefore emphasizing the effect. Furthermore, the inspector is presented as the figure of authority in the play. This is reinforced in "massively taking charge as dispute erupts between them." He is the only character that calms down the household when an argument breaks. He also expresses no interest towards Mr. birling’s authoritative friends and disregards his threats. The stage directions reinforce that when capitalism destroys everything, socialism is the only answer. Both contemporary and modern audience is left in a conflicting situation as he creates conflict in the play between other
In this essay, I am going to discuss how the character Eva Smith in the play An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley is treated in the play and the relation of this to the socialist views of the playwright. I will look at the historical context of when the play was written and when it was set, describe what happens to Eva Smith throughout the play and then link this to a socialist viewpoint.
J.B Priestly employs a various methods to present the inspector as well as showing his importance such as stage directions and from the language he uses. These methods allow us to understand and relate to the moral messages put across in the play.
Not only was there was a substantial gap between the upper and lower class people, but also between the men and women. The 2nd World War was thought to have sealed that gap, as both men from lower and upper-classes went to fight in the wars leaving their jobs vacant to women who needed it. Priestley uses the role of the Inspector as a mouthpiece to convey his ideas of socialism. Mr Birling was ‘almost certain’ he would get the award, however, now, with this infamy he will certainly not! Priestly uses Mr Birling as a voice for capitalism, who is then ridiculed by the inspector, a representative of socialism. Upper class parents in 1912 really did treat their children like infants, despite their age. For instance, when Eric goes out for a drink Mrs Birling refers to him as a ‘boy’ further emphasising that idea. Priestly also uses uneasy laughter and accusations between members of the family, such as “unless Eric has done something”. This shows that Mr Birling is passing the bucket to the other family members as he doesn’t want to lose face to society as he was nominated for an award (which he failed to receive as in the dialogue between Mr Birling and the inspector, the inspector continually twists what Mr Birling says, showing he is the voice of truth, leaving it in suspense. This is a device Priestly often uses to captivate the reader’s interest and to create tension, for example at the end of the play Mr Birling answers the phone to find out that a second inspector is on
J. B. Priestley was very focused on morals in politics throughout his life. He created a party known as the Common Wealth Party, which fought social injustices in Britain and social democracy. Priestly wanted to have the political party no longer favor the higher-class society, creating a voice for those in lower classes. He used his socialist beliefs to incorporate the unfairness of the social upper classes and the responsibilities they lacked judgment of. Priestly heavily argued that the lower class could be happy in a socialist state, and how the community and the reaction will come together, a socialist idea. He wrote An Inspector Calls to pose the question, can we all live together? In it, he calls out a family of the higher class and makes them realize the actions of their self-minded ways. The play reflects the quote because of the way Priestly brought attention to how the social class was not the only class in society, and how a lesson of responsibility was needed to teach the them there are consequences for our actions.
The play is set two years before World War I, in 1912, and in the year