Message in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

2074 Words Jul 14th, 2018 9 Pages
Message in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

J.B Priestley sets the stage play of An Inspector Calls within the fictional industrialised city of Brumley. Brumley is most likely typical of many towns where the factory owners, who supplied much required employment, were able to run things in essence how they wanted. All action of the performance is carried out in the Birling's dining room. Mr Birling, his wife and their fully-grown children, Eric and Sheila have been enjoying a family banquet celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft. The entrance of a police Inspector named Goole, investigating the suicide of a young woman, Eva Smith, interrupts the night. Priestley conveys
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Priestley again uses a character, Mr Birling, to strongly portray the views of a typical Conservative follower and totally contradict those of the Socialists.

"But the way some of those cranks talk you'd think everybody has to look after everyone else, as if we're all mixed up together like bees in a hive-community and all that nonsense."

It is made immediately lucid from the start, that Mr Birling has a passionate conservative stance on collective responsibility, and opposes the idea. This instantaneously initiates a firm contradiction concerning Birling and the Inspector. Tension is amplified triggering the audience to choose between the two opinionated views. The device contradicting his opposing side allows the audience to comprehend the differences between the two parties, to exemplify the now firm segregation in politics and press the audience to support or have the same opinion of just one of Priestley's representatives of the two parties.

Priestley's implication of individuals being incapable of changing their old-fashioned viewpoints to more contemporary ones is exposed in the play through various ways. Firstly, through Birling, as he is the stereotype of a Conservative follower, which may be
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