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A play, which has a very important message to tell the reader, is "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestly. The message of social responsibility is clearly repeated throughout the play.

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A play, which has a very important message to tell the reader, is "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestly. The message of social responsibility is clearly repeated throughout the play. Social responsibility is the responsibility that people have to each other. A person's actions can have a direct effect on another person's life and the play is about people needing to realise this and admit that they hold this influence and understand the responsibility it carries. Priestly uses many effective techniques to convey this theme. One of the effective methods Priestly uses is the plot, and the characters acceptance or dismissal of their responsibility. In the play there are continual revelations and confessions about each of the Birlings' role in the suicide of Eva Smith. Each member of the Birling family pushed Eva Smith just that bit further, causing a domino effect on her life. Every time a Birling was involved in Eva Smith's life, they seemed to make it worse. Arthur Birling fired her, Sheila got her fired from her next job, Gerald Croft used her as his mistress, Eric got her pregnant and the final push came from Sybil Birling, who, refused Eva Smith's cry for help. ...read more.


Being the author's mouthpiece his views are constantly forced on the characters and readers, and the Inspector refuses to listen to the Birling's capitalist opinions. The use of the Inspector's character is very effective as the constant preaching of right and wrong makes you realise how important the theme of social responsibility is. The characterisation also enforces the message the play is conveying. As the story and opinions unfold, there are clear divides within the Birling family. The younger members of the family, Sheila and Eric, are the ones who own up to their wrong doings and face the consequences of that. But, Arthur and Sybil Birling are stubborn and refuse to admit that they have been and are wrong. When the Inspector leaves his role is transferred onto Eric and Sheila. "There's every excuse for what both your mother and I did it turned out unfortunately that's all- (Sheila)(scornfully) That's all. (Mrs B) Don't be childish, Sheila. (Sheila)(flaring up) I'm not being. If you want to know, its you two who are being childish - trying not to face the facts" This shows that Sheila and Eric have managed to break away from their parents capitalist views, and realise the Inspector was right. ...read more.


That telephone call causes a great sense of irony as Birling had been trying to forget the lesson being taught and pass the night off as a joke. It also ends the play the way the main character entered; by butting Birling off during a capitalist speech. The twist has a lasting impact on the reader, as there is no time to reflect on what has happened. This is very clever on Priestly's part, as it gets the reader thinking about the main theme, which means he has achieved his goal in writing the play. I think, due to Priestly's effective techniques, the play clearly portrayed a very important and moral lesson. He used the plot and the characters to portray a very important message to the readers; Social responsibility. He shocks and stuns readers and etches the theme into the reader's mind. The message was impossible to ignore, and made the play what it is. His methods made the play more enjoyable and I feel as though I've learned more about the responsibility there is within a community. Priestly has succeeded in bringing about awareness of social responsibility with 'An Inspector Calls'. By Elaine Weir 301 Elaine Weir An Inspector Calls Critical Essay Page 1 Elaine Weir An Inspector Calls Critical Essay Page 1 ...read more.

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