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An Inspector Calls

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Introduction

How does the inspector help to convey JB Priestley's political ideas? JB Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' is a play written in 1945, just after the Second World War, which is set in 1912, just before the First World War. 1945 was a time after the two world wars and the Russian Revolution. Priestley was worried about the social discrimination to the people in lower classes, at that time. Priestley set his play on 1912 because he wanted his audience especially middle class people to watch how difficult it was to live in 1912. It was the time when every people where classified in to different classes. It was a period when there were many strikes, lack of food and political tension. However, by that time in 1945, every thing was changed; as a result of two world wars, the classes were broken up to an extent. Priestley uses the time difference efficiently. The play supports and encourages the community to build up a social relationship between people. It says that people have to work together to restructure the country instead of continuing with capitalism. Particularly, poignantly the 1946 audience would have just gone through another terrible world war. Now a days the way this play comes in theatre is different because every people have equality now. No lower classes or upper classes... Gaslight, Pink String and Sealing Wax, and Hatter's Castle, these were used for the previous times which looked back to the era before the Great War with revulsion."An inspector calls" is not a musical or tragedy, but it can be described as a good thriller and that is why lot of audience still comes to it. It does not have pope stars or comedians but it still have it's own tension and flexibility. Priestley is trying to use his ideas and show the dramatic purpose through the role of the inspector in this play. ...read more.

Middle

She always felt that what she did was depraved and the inspector played as a conscience for her. Priestley symbolises the upper class through the role of Gerald. He was the son of Lord and Lady Croft. He is very rich and has a good standard in the society. Gerald tried not to reveal the truth but the inspector persuades him to say what he did. He founds out that Eva is homeless. He helps her by giving her a shelter and later he discovered her as his mistress. He says: "I want you to understand that I didn't install her there so that I could make love to her. I made her go to Morgan Terrace because I was sorry for her" Inspector says how much Eva wished not to end the relationship with Gerald because she loved him. He also confesses them that how rich people treats poor people as old, useless shoes which has to be thrown away. He broke up with her by destroying the wings of her dreams and hopes about her future. Gerald accepts that he didn't felt for her what she did felt for him, but it was very simple for Gerald to say that he broke up with her. It clearly shows that he was obviously interested and affected by her unexplainable beauty rather than her good personality when he says: "She looked young fresh and charming" He never thought about what Eva's life would be if he left her. She dreamed a lot and build up hopes about a happy life with Gerald; but he just let her down. The inspector explains what the higher class think about themselves that they were the finest and should obviously be the ones making decisions and conclusion in the case of lower class people. This shows the power and the wealth of ruling class people over the poor people. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mainly the moral Priestly conveys through 'An Inspector Calls' is that : "we all shall share responsibilities for other people's welfare". He also reminds us that: "We all are members of one body" Priestley's social message for the working class people and the ruling class people is on the last speech of the inspector: "One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths still left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and chance of happiness; all intertwined with our lives and what we think and say and do" The inspector was saying that every people in the society has related to each other, just as every one of Birling family is linked to Eva's death. He also alarms the audience about what is going to happen if we will not take responsibility for each other. "And I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, when they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish" Priestley and the Inspector think that the people that employ and who think that one should only think of themselves are doing mistake. Priestley examples this by the character of Mr: Birling who thinks that everyone should be responsible for themselves. He thinks that: "a man has to make his own way - has to look after himself - and his family ofcourse" Moreover, may be through using the phrase 'fire and blood and anguish' he will be warning us about the second world war which was just going to happen. Priestly is only saying this to men. Through that, he is also trying to say about the discrimination to women in lower classes at that time in Britain. They were not even allowed to vote. Why did not he choose a John Smith instead of Eva Smith? The inspector remains as a question. However, even if the inspector is a ghost or the voice of God, or Eva it self, it represents the view of priestly. ...read more.

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