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An Analytical account of The Inspector Calls

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An Inspector Calls In this essay I will explore J. B. Priestley's values about society and how he tries to put these values across in his plays. In "An Inspector Calls" the storyline concentrates on one family; the Birlings. In Act 1, the family are celebrating the engagement of Gerald Croft and Sheila Birling. When an Inspector calls and starts to interrogate the family gradually breaking down the barriers they throw up at him as he intrudes on their high society life, to find out what really made Eva Smith commit suicide. A big theme in "The Inspector Calls" is that of responsibility and the consequences of your actions. Priestley was very concerned about this, his feeling are likely to have come from his time in the war, where he thought strongly about why they were at war and the consequences of war. His other concerns are about the whole of society and the difference between old and young. ...read more.


In 1945 when the play was first preformed, people were recovering from two wars. Priestley used this hindsight to provoke a reaction from the audience, when Mr Birling shows his ignorance of war. Equally the titanic sunk in April 1912 when the play was set: a fact that Birling again cannot imagine which shows his closed mind. "The ships unsinkable!" This character reinforces Priestley's views of society and the closed mindedness of the older generation. The genre of the play is linked to learning from the past and of mystery and morality. The play is a modern fable teaching us a lesson about society, and how Priestley wants people to treat others as equals. He uses dramatic devices to teach or influence the Birlings and the audience of his concerns about society. The use of dramatic irony early on in the play allows the audience to relate to the play and become more involved with the Birling family. ...read more.


This shows he already is upset with himself for having an affair with Eva or he doesn't want Sheila to know about it. This shows another difference between the younger and older generation as Mrs Birling and Mr Birling don't what the truth to come out because of how is will affect there social standing or money and not ashamed of what they did unlike Gerald. When the Inspector walks in he ends the scene with "well?" The audience start to anticipate the next scene. To conclude Priestley changes the audience's opinion of the Birlings from the selfish family in Act 1 to the difference of age and views and how these develop in acts 2 and 3. Priestley wanted people to leave this play with a different attitude on how we still have a class society today and that he feels that those in power sometimes abuse that power and this needs to change. The audience can learn to see how they are acting and if they themselves need to change. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1/3 ...read more.

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