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‘An Inspector Calls’ written by J. B Priestley.

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An Inspector Calls In this essay I will be analysing the play 'An Inspector Calls' written by J. B Priestley. John Boynton Priestley was born on 13th of September 1894 and was raised in a modest but thoroughly middle-class home in Bradford, Yorkshire. 'An Inspector Calls' was written in just one week in 1945. J. B Priestley had a gift of writing quickly and is said never to have corrected his first drafts. The play is set in the early 20th century at the times of men investing in coal, iron and steel works and were making huge profits, exactly the same time as workers in the factories were being underpaid, for the benefit of the owners. And workers went on strike to demand higher wages. This makes the setting of the play relevant to those times, because the character Eva Smith had been on strike with other colleagues at Mr. Birling's factory. J. B Priestley was very interested in politics, but seemed to have trouble settling down with policies of any one political party. He made an unsuccessful attempt to stand for Parliament as an Independent party in 1944. His sort of socialism in later life was based on compassion- the sort of compassion and caring that the Inspector wants to see in the people he questions in 'An Inspector Calls'. ...read more.


This was said by the Inspector to Sheila. He is trying to show Sheila how happy Eva was until she came to the shop that day and spoilt her job opportunities and damaged her emotions. He puts Sheila in the position of Eva and makes her understand how she would feel if the same thing had happened to her. The Inspector makes Sheila confess to being responsible for Eva losing her job. He also makes her realise that what she did was an unnecessary and selfish act that resulted in a girl wrongly being sacked. Sheila reacts to Eva's death very emotionally. She is horrified that a person could want to die so much and in the manor it was done. She is truly sorry for her actions and admits that she played a part in the chain of events leading up to the girl's death, quite the opposite to her father. Like Mr. Birling, Gerald Croft talks to the Inspector openly about his involvement with the girl, and also doesn't try to cover up anything that happened between them. The Inspector keeps Gerald talking about the girl by asking him what happened next and this helps to reveal to Sheila all that Gerald had done when he associated with the girl. ...read more.


Even though they had previously admitted to being involved with the girl, they treat the discussions they had like they never happened and that all is now back to normal. They feel there is nothing to be distressed about and "all this silly business", is now over and can be forgotten about. Eric and Sheila react in quite the opposite way. Having previously admitting that they had learnt a valuable lesson from their wrongdoings towards the girl, they still feel exactly the same way about how they acted. Even though they know the Inspector was a hoax, they feel that there is a valuable lesson to be learnt from the whole situation. Both Eric and Sheila want their parents to freely admit to their mistakes just as they have. The attitudes of Eric and Sheila stay the same after they found the Inspector to be a hoax, because the Inspector has left a lasting impression on them, unlike their parents who, possibly because of their generation, have strong attitudes of their own, and the Inspector is unable to change them for the better. Maybe this is a message from J. B Priestley trying to show us that if we make a good impression on younger generation's attitudes, then we can change everyone's attitudes for the better, because the younger generation is our future. ...read more.

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