• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

‘An Inspector Calls’, by J.B. Priestley;

Extracts from this document...


English GCSE coursework: 'An Inspector Calls', by J.B. Priestley; Q. 1. Inspector Goole "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestley was written in post-world war II Britain but is set in 1912, a point in time of great innovation and progress, but also political instability and great threat. With "Titanic" about to make its maiden voyage and trouble in the Balkans about to immerse the rest of Europe, it is a fitting time for Priestley to take advantage of his audience's benefit of hindsight and use the inspector as a vessel for his socialist views. The opening dialogue of the play is conducted around an extremely large table with which Priestley intends to show that although the characters were a family, they weren't close, and instead were more formal, even while celebrating with each other. The stage directions at the beginning portray them as being very 'pleased with themselves,' making a good cover for the deceit and corruption hidden behind the silk cravats and elaborate gowns. The first scene sets the mood that Priestley wanted to linger throughout the whole play. ...read more.


The Inspector points this out by saying "you're offering money at the wrong time Mr. Birling." Priestley captivates the audience by the use of climaxes, the slow unravelling of the plot and use of the detective-whodunit style before capitalising with a shocking revelation. As the tension increases, so does the passion. The Inspector is anything but plain and regimented in his investigation, treating all characters equally, showing them no special deference because of their social status. The Inspector has a moral outlook, making him different from an ordinary Inspector in that he is more concerned with right and wrong than with what is legal. He coolly tells Birling, for example, that 'it's better to ask for the earth (as workers might do) than to take it (implying Mr Birling does)'. The snobbish dialogue, between the two Inspectors visits, confronts Goole's irregularities, and possible supernatural origins, "it's queer, very queer." but is then forgotten - reflecting the confident English upper-class values of English-defined normality. The Inspector also tells the characters that 'if you're easy with me, I'm easy with you' - he has compassion for those who are willing to accept their responsibility, but not forgiveness, because, after all, 'the girl's [still] dead'. ...read more.


Priestley is trying to rouse the audience into taking a long, hard, critical look at themselves, - money and power are supposed to be a privilege - not a weapon to make yourself look big. He is saying that there should be more equality and we shouldn't take our lifestyles for granted. We should also take responsibility for our actions or we could end up in an awful situation, just as the Birlings and Gerald did when they received the phone call at the end of the play to say an inspector was on his way round. Priestley is trying to convert people by using this play as a socialist piece of propaganda - only showing the necessary parts of the story to create the desired effect. Priestley wants the Inspector to dominate the audience. At the time the drama was conceived World War II had scarred society and European minds. The play was a moralistic mystery that made the audience think. The Inspector himself is used as a dramatic device in that the play gives you time to change your actions towards others, that is before "An Inspector calls" on you, to teach you in 'blood and fire and in anguish.' By Liam J. O'Dea 20/01/02 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Show how J.B Priestley demonstrates his political views through ‘An Inspector Calls’. You need ...

    And I say there isn't a chance of war." And in the Inspectors final speech when he talks about everyone being responsible for each other's actions and the world is a whole and people shouldn't be divided up into classes and social groups.

  2. How Would a Modern Day Audience Respond To a Performance of ‘an Inspector ...

    lives, The Inspector always seems to be telling the family about responsibility: "We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if we will not learn that lesson they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish" "Public Men, Mr Birling,

  1. Discuss this view of responsibility, guilt and blame in ‘An Inspector Calls’ and discuss ...

    Birling. He has hopes of gaining a Knighthood, due to his service as a magistrate and as Lord Mayor, which he sees as his way to climb the social ladder to the lower rungs of the aristocracy. This is shown in the way in which he compares this to the mother

  2. Discuss the role of the Inspector in the play ‘An Inspector Calls’.

    the inspector arrives is very relaxed and is drinking and making conversation, when he hears that an inspector is at the door he becomes "uneasy", as quoted in the stage directions and becomes worried and he becomes very serious, "well, I don't think its very funny", he says to Gerald after he made a comment.

  1. Examine Priestly’s Stagecraft In Act 1 of ‘An Inspector Calls’. How does he use ...

    For example, during the stage directions at the start of act one we get a sign that things are not as they should be when it mentions that 'the lighting should be pink and intimate until the inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder.'

  2. Show how the production of ‘An Inspector Calls’ enhanced the script and furthered your ...

    One by one as each of the group reveal their part in Eva Smith's life they climb down the steps and into the real world, as they realise what they have done is wrong. From seeing the play performed it really helped me to see Mrs Birling in a new light.

  1. Explore the function of Inspector Goole in ‘An Inspector Calls’

    an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness,. This means he doesn't have to be a certain height or stature, but he must hold himself in a certain way. Most importantly the actor must speak 'carefully, weightily, and has (have) a disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses.'

  2. An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley

    Birling shows a great deal of arrogance and selfishness throughout the play. He also shows a lack of understanding at the beginning. He speaks as though he's the head of the family. He starts sentences with "I say" to give the impression that he is telling them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work