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'An Inspector Calls'.

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RAPHAEL IBRAHIM 10TS 23RD OCTOBER 2003 ENGLISH COURSEWORK: ' AN INSPECTOR CALLS' John Boyton Priestly was born on 13th September 1894 in Bradford, Yorkshire. Priestly decided to leave school at sixteen rather then work toward a university scholarship. 'I wanted to write' he says in his autobiography. He believed 'the world outside of classrooms' would make him a better writer, and he felt that he 'must spend at least the next few years trying his hand at it'. It was during the period before World War One, that Preistly acquired and developed the skills that would make him an exceptional writer. Priestly says himself that the years 1911-1914 'set their stamp on me'. A possible reason for this is because he worked as a junior clerk at a wool company and was witness to some of the prejudice that the lower workers had to endure. This may have given him his socialist views, which would mould the way he thought and thus influencing him to write such plays as 'An Inspector Calls' in 1945. Another source of influence for Priestly was his father, who was also a socialist meaning he believed in social equality. As Priestly grew up, he found himself spending time with people who read a great deal, cared a lot for at least one of the arts and preferred real talk....hot argument to social chit-chat. But there weren't any professional writers in this new group, Priestly, who grew up among his fathers group of socialist friends, now found himself joining in with their political arguments. However, Priestly said ' I was politically minded to some extent' however he was 'never able to put politics first'. Priestly became a socialist man, meaning he believed in equality and fairness, something that was rare in most years of his life. Through his plays he tried to influence people into his way of thinking. ...read more.


In fact the only thing he cares about is his knighthood, which, means he has to avoid a scandal thus why he refuses to accept any blame. He describes his workers as 'cheap labour'. As far as he is concerned he might as well be animal's that work for him. This is evident when he says ' I cannot accept any responsibility'. Sheila Birling met Eva Smith sometime between December 1910 and January 1911 in a department store named 'Milwards'. This is because influenza had spread among the original staff members, meaning there were open spaces for new employees. Prior to their meeting, Sheila was annoyed because she wanted to try on a dress in 'Milwards', but her mother, Sybil Burling, had told her it wouldn't suite her and that she shouldn't try it on. Despite her mother's advice, she went to try on the item of clothing. From this we can interpret that she is an immature spoiled brat because she did what she wanted to do rather then listen to reliable advice. After trying on the item of clothing, she realises that her mother was right and that the dress didn't suit her. She then spotted Eva and another shop assistant giggling. Then she tells Eva to try on the dress and when Sheila sees how pretty it is on her: 'she was very pretty'. Sheila then becomes jealous and subsequently gives 'Milwards' a spiteful ultimatum, either they sack Eva Smith or expect to have the Birling account with them cancelled. Sheila used her position as a middle-class citizen to get Eva sacked because the shop owners would have valued her and her family as customers. At the beginning of the play she was in a happy mood because she was celebrating her engagement, but know we see a different side to her. She was definitely not being fair; this is made obvious when The Inspector says 'You might be said, to have been jealous of her'. ...read more.


The audience have realised much earlier than Mrs.Birling that Eric is the father and are relishing in her ignorance. They will be in a state of excitement as they try to anticipate what will happen next. The Birling's admit their actions were uncaring and inhumane. However, the family are divided. Mrs. Birling and Gerald do not take responsibility for their actions although the fact remains they still did what they did to a person along with Mr.Birling who is just happy there is no public scandal and he will get his knighthood. Whereas Eric and Sheila (the younger members of the family) feel disgusted with themselves and are sorry and remorseful. Despite learning that Inspector Goole is not really a policeman and that no one has actually died, they still feel bad about their actions. They realise that Inspector Goole was their 'moral policemen' and are learning from this experience. But then there is a phone call and we learn that a girl has in fact died and a real inspector is on his way. The audience are left pondering how the family will act the second time round, knowing what they have done already. Also they would be in a state of surprise, because they will be wondering who the fake Inspector was and if he had any connection to Eva Smith. By evaluating the theme of the play, I have learned that how I treat other people can have affects on their emotional stability. That what I do, combined with what other people do can affect them. My actions can spark reactions that will be more serious then I wanted or could have anticipated. I have learnt that we as a local community or a universal society will have to help each other in order to develop. Hate, jealousy, war and conflict will plague the world if we do not learn to drop our prejudices whether they are related to race, religion, social class, appearance or personality. If we keep on digging away at each other then we can never develop together. 1 ...read more.

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