Inspector Calls

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‘An Inspector’s Calls’ is a play that was written by J.B. Priestley in 1945 but set in Edwardian England 1912. The play is set in a fictional industrial city in the North Midlands called Brumley. The fictional industrial city of Brumley would have been typical of many towns, as in the town there would be factory owners, who would provide much needed jobs, this meant that the factory owners were able to run their businesses any way they wanted to. These factory owners were more important in 1912 than they are now, as many industrialists got rich in the 1800s. For example, men like Arthur Birling may have come from a modest background but his new wealth helped him climb up the social ladder, gaining both a lot of power and respect. This…show more content…
The first scene introduces the characters and gives a taste of their personality to the audience. Also the play has an element of Whodunnit since Eva’s Smiths story is slowly exposed due to the Inspector’s questioning. Sheila is the daughter of Mr Arthur Birling and Mrs Sybil Birling; she is described by Priestley as ‘a pretty girl in her early twenties... pleased about life...excited.’ This makes the audience see Sheila as a sweet lively young girl who appreciates life in her own bubble. The bubble makes her naive and immature. We see Sheila being naive when she talks about the previous summer when Gerald vanished. Gerald explains that he was ‘awfully busy at work all the time’, the audience see Sheila to be youthful because she believes Gerald was really working during the whole summer. Sheila in the beginning of the play says a little as she seems like a well mannered and not outspoken. Priestley describes Sheila like an ordinary twenty year old girl, who is rather content with life, as Sheila is excited about her engagement like any girl would be. She is also portrayed as spoilt and a girl who gets her own way. ‘You’ve got it... mummy- isn’t beautiful.’ This impression of Sheila is portrayed again and again later on in the play. It also makes the audience feel jealous towards Sheila and not like her very much at the start, later on it shows how dramatically Sheila changes from being spoilt to being more realistic
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