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An inspector calls

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"What is the role and purpose of the inspector in Priestley's 'An inspector calls'? Analyse this characters central role and explain Priestley's ideas." John Boynton Priestley was born within the city of Bradford on the 13th of September 1894. His childhood consisted of many major historical events, including the First World War in the period of 1914 - 1918, within this period he would have been 20, he served on the front line, and this life experience could have left Priestly with long-term mind like effects. Before the war his mother died, and collectively these two major events could have made him unstable or unsure of position within the world. You could describe his life as war, marriage and tragedy. Throughout his lifetime priestly wrote a number of novels, plays and other texts, mainly containing and expressing his own beliefs and experiences. As an individual he believed very much in capitalism and everybody living within there own success, benefiting from their own profits. Priestley was very left wing, whereas he disagrees with the right wing policies and prefers policies that are of a different extreme. This left wing attitude made up his main and general characteristic, which was that of someone expressing their views, his membership of the socialist party allowed him to do exactly this and share in other people's societal beliefs and views. This idea of Priestley's expression of beliefs, views, emotions and feelings of the world and society are shown clearly through the characters of Priestley's play "An inspector Calls". Prior to the arrival of the inspector Mr. Birling appeared to be very confident in what he spoke, making his beliefs shown to his surrounding family. He made it clear that he was powerful and a strong believer of capitalism where oneself would benefit from all working efforts. From the opening scene Mr. Birling's characteristics started to be shown to the audience, he says, "I speak as a hard headed, practical man of business", this shows that he considers himself of a high class and somewhat intelligent, however there is an understanding of his arrogance, self satisfaction and complacency. ...read more.


As is shown in the following comment, she says, "I've told my father, he didn't seem to think it amounted to much - but I feel rotten". It just shows there contrasting attitudes to life. Priestly made this idea of contrast significant because it shows how people on the outside can be very different, but inside can be very similar. As Sheila continues to expose her conduct, the audience starts to understand her character from a different angle, her innocent early impressions change as she tells of a story of jealousy. It becomes clear that Sheila was jealous of the girl, her looks and her position within the world. She says, "She was a very pretty girl", this shows her jealousy of other glamorous threats within her society, she went onto to misuse her power, by using a threat to the manager, she says, "If you don't get rid of that girl, I'll never go near the place again". This is significant because it shows how people's actions can be solely driven by jealousy and power, without thinking of the consequences, this is exactly the case of Sheila, the audiences perceptions of Sheila have suddenly changed, and as an audience we begin to understand that people shouldn't judge on first appearances as there is usually more to be told. The inspector says, "Well, we'll try to understand why it had to happen? And that's why I'm here, and why I'm not going until I know all that happened", this quote is significant because it shows the inspectors determination to change the family, to extract and make them face reality and guilt, making them confess to all of there wrong doings, making them realise that actions have consequences. Sheila's interview takes less time than Mr. Birling's, possibly because of co-operative manner, showing a willingness to become involved and share all that she knows, accepting reasonability. ...read more.


He says, "He's admitted he was responsible for the girls condition", Mr. Birling burdens total blame onto the Eric, as his secret life unfolds, for the position that the girl was left in. Priestly made this idea significant because it shows how people will prioritise things to there own aptitudes and attitudes of life, in the case of a business man (Mr. B) he is putting money and theft before family and pregnancy. This is shown by Mr. Birling when he says, "I've got to cover this up as soon as I can". A childhood revolt begins to occur as Sheila continues to blame her mother and father for all of the endeavours committed by the younger generation. Eric blames his mother for the final death of the girl, saying, "You killed her - she came to you to protect me - and you turned her away". This idea of a childhood revolt is significant because it shows how disrespect on the child's part occurs within a family, in the time of priestly it was unheard of a child questioning there parents, in the case of the play it was the inspectors job to remove such disrespect. The inspector continues to assert his authority, interrupting and taking charge, He gives a summary of events, hitting each perpetrator directly in the face with guilt and realisation of there true given consequences, he burdens the main blame onto Mr. Birling, who is left with a moment of thinking to reiterate what has just been said, this idea of repeating what has been done is allowing for the family members to understand the extent of there actions, coming to terms with the consequences, realising what they did then was unacceptable and a feeling of guilt should be felt. The interviewing of the family draws to a conclusion, he leaves the family divided, with opinions against each other, they are allowed to reserve judgement and come to terms within there own hemisphere just exactly what they have done. The inspector leaves giving a rather meaningful speech ?? ?? ?? ?? Robert Shaw 10P An Inspector Calls ...read more.

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