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An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestly - Who is responsible for the death of Eva Smith? Howcan this be shown using dramatic techniques?

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Introduction

Debbie Branford GCSE COURSEWORK 2Oth CENTURY DRAMA: An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestly Essay Question: Who is responsible for the death of Eva Smith? How can this be shown using dramatic techniques? 'An Inspector Calls' is a play written by J.B. Priestly. Although the play was set in 1912, it was actually written in 1947. It was written after the events that were mentioned in the play, like the First World War and the sinking of the 'Titanic'. It is thought that J. B. Priestly's experience in World War One inspired him to write a story about how cruelly humans treat each other. In the 1910's there was a lot of cruelty and discrimination because of the different classes. The upper classes were cruel to the lower class because they were poorer and worked for the upper classes. Priestly wrote the play to make people aware of the social differences and how nasty people treat each other. If the upper classes were less pompous and treated the lower classes the same as everybody else, the country's wealth would be more evenly spread so there wouldn't be as much discrimination. 'An Inspector Calls' is a play which forces the audience to realise that every judgement made, every action taken, has an effect on another person. ...read more.

Middle

He called her a "wretched girl" and "cheap labour". He thinks that his family is respectable, but we later find out that he has an alcoholic son, his daughter's fianc� sleeps with prostitutes, his wife is a selfish snob, his daughter is a spoilt brat and he is a greedy, stuck-up egotist. Mr Birling was the eldest in the family. He didn't admit he had anything to do with Eva's death, he blamed Eric, and Eric accepted the blame. Birling: "you're the one I blame for this" Eric "I bet I am" Mr Birling brushed it all under the carpet as soon as the inspector had left. He was more upset about losing his chance to get a knighthood than knowing he was partly responsible for a girl's death. Mrs Birling is an upper class snob. She puts down her husband and she thinks she is better than him because she was probably born into the upper class. Mrs Birling patronises her family because Mr Birling was lower class. She says things like: "Now Arthur, I don't think you should talk business on an occasion like this" and she raises her voice at Mr Birling when he acts lower class and she still calls Sheila a child when she is old enough to get married. ...read more.

Conclusion

Priestly was trying to say that many of the lower classes are treated like Eva Smith, so he used Eva as an example as one lower class girl who represents all of the lower class. She was one of many, so that might be why she had the common surname "Smith". The lower class that watch the play could relate to Eva because they might have been treated the same. When they watched the play, they might think that someone has noticed how unfairly they are being treated. The upper class might think about what they are doing to upset lower class people. They may change their ways and treat the working class better; after all, if it weren't for working class, the business owners wouldn't have any wealth. The inspector was Priestly's voice in all this. He said all the things Priestly wanted to say, but the Inspector would get more noticed because he was in a play and people would take more notice to a play than someone just standing up and dictating about equal rights. The inspector was a spiritual figure, possibly the family's conscience or even God. He could have been a ghost, hence the name G-o-o-l-e (ghoul). The inspector was there to make the family and the audience realise the error of their ways. The inspector was an angry man. ...read more.

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