• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Inspector Calls Essay

Extracts from this document...


An Inspector Calls Essay Discuss how Priestly uses character and structure in this play 'An Inspector Calls' to reveal the historical and social disparity between the classes in 1912 Britain . J.B.Priestley's play, first performed in 1946, but set in the spring of 1012 in the household of an upper-middle class family in the north of England . The plot of this dramatic play is based around the Blirling family's involvement in a young girl's suicide . The Birling consists of the two parents, Arthur and Sybil Birling and their two children Eric and Sheila . Gerald Croft is soon to become a member of the family as he has recently announced his engagement to Sheila . "An Inspector Calls" is a well-made play that attacks the social mores of his time; it contains all the ingredients of a well-made play, this is because it is captivating, and it holds the attention of the audience. It achieves this by the use of climaxes, the slow unravelling of the plot and the use of the detective-whodunit style. Despite this Priestly is concerned with the darker side of Capitalism. ...read more.


instantaneously opposing the views of Mr Birling, this seems to bring up questions of the inspectors background and who he is, as even the local constabulary have never heard of him. But "An Inspector Calls" is more than just a well-made play, it is a play that attack the social mores of the time. In the time of Priestley people only seemed to look after themselves, their time and attention was not spent on the community, but on themselves. There was hardly any communal spirit or common wealth "But the way that some of these cranks talk and write now, you'd think everybody has to look after everybody else as if we're all together like bees in a hive, community and all that nonsense", 'socialist' values must be a fool . Although Mr. Birling shows relatively little guilt for Eva's death, I do not feel that he is entirely responsible as at the end of the play he does in fact feel very guilty when the inspector gives his last speech . He says "Look inspector I'd give though sands-yes though sands..." indicating that he did begin to accept some of the blame . ...read more.


They are set so far away from the community that they did not even realise that Eva Smith had died, let alone how the helped to kill her, they find this out only when the Inspector brings it to their attention. In the inspectors final speech, he tries to show how both the First World War, and the Second, which had just ended when Priestley wrote the play, were the result of attitudes and behaviour such as those of powerful and wealthy families like the Birlings. Priestley's choice of surname for Eva has obvious connotations: Smith is the most common name in England and Wales, and so is ideal to represent the typical working class British citizen. What Priestley was saying was that even the rich and upper class have a duty to the average lower class Briton. The fact remains that Inspector Goole is a compelling and interesting character from start to finish, and even beyond, leaving the audience guessing about the Inspector's real identity and purpose. His main accomplishment, however, is warning the Birlings and the audience that envy and greed would, and possibly will, ultimately lead to a breakdown of society. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Inspector calls

    Priestley used this web of themes to show it isn't only the poor who make mistakes, but how each single person in society should accept responsibility for their own actions. In this way, Mrs Birling is used as an example for the wrong actions that people take.


    Sheila's 'was to be' husband Gerald is also a key member and part of the play. He is the son of Sir George and Lady Croft and he is in his thirties and is a rather confident character. In the play he is described as: An attractive chap about thirty,

  1. Inspector calls essay

    He conveys his political views through the inspector "We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other." This is an example of Priestley's socialist views being conveyed to the audience. Priestley wanted people to see sense in his beliefs and see that they are appropriate.

  2. The Speckled Band Essay

    would turn to private detectives such as the likes of Holmes to get a better chance of the crime being solved. There are two main settings in the story, Holmes office and Stoke Moran. There seems to be a link between the two main characters in the story and the two main settings.

  1. Is an Inspector Calls an example of a well-made play?

    He could also have laughed because Sheila and Gerald were talking romantically which he may have found funny, which shows his immaturity. What you don't know is that he is a drunk and sleeps around with women. Mrs Birling is a good mood and is decent towards them all.

  2. 'An Inspector Calls' has been described as a 'wellmade' play. Discuss this description of ...

    Birling by saying " That's true". Eric says, "Yes I remember..." but as he sees his father sitting next to him he checks himself and pauses. This gives the audience a fair bit of an idea that Eric has been linked or confronted with a woman before, that no one in his family know of.

  1. an ispector calls essay

    These three aspects of Priestley's life- war, socialism and time- have all influenced and led Priestley to write 'An Inspector Calls'. In this play we learn how the actions of the members of the Birling household and Gerald croft have led a girl to a tragic suicide.

  2. How is "An Inspector Calls" a well-made play?

    This means that Priestley was looking back when he was writing it so he could include irony about the First and Second World Wars. Mr Birling says how in 1940 they will "be living in a world that has forgotten all these Capital versus Labour agitations and all these silly

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work