• 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 (Play)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'An Inspector Calls' Essay (Play) 'An Inspector Calls' is a play written by JB Priestley in 1945 and set in 1912. Priestley demonstrates his concern with moral responsibility and his beliefs in Socialist values through the character of the Inspector, whom he uses as a mouthpiece throughout the play. He voices his opinions on these issues using this technique, and they are shown by the way the Inspector deals with the Birling family and are exemplified by the obstacles to social harmony in which the Inspector has to face before coming to a suitable and justifiable conclusion. The play was written in 1945 - within a week of World War Two ending - but set in 1912, when Britain still had its Empire and was doing very well financially. The time span between the two dates is Priestley's way of expressing a feeling of urgency he thought necessary to pass on to society after the events of 1945. Although the war had ended, society in Britain in 1945 was still experiencing the hardships that it had brought. New books were printed under the wartime economy regulations, continuing the shortage of paper and therefore resulting in the books being expensive - too expensive for any working class person to purchase. However, in 1912 some things were different. Society did not have the burden of the war hanging over their heads, but life for the poor did not differ much from 1945. ...read more.

Middle

I feel that the reason the Inspector calls at that specific time is to ultimately prove Birling wrong, and try to show him that we are responsible for each other in this world, and how you cannot escape the fact that 'what goes around, comes around'. Birling is quite outraged at the fact that the Inspector has rudely interrupted their dinner party, and he constantly attempts to tackle the Inspector with petty little comments: "I ought to warn you that [Colonel Roberts] is an old friend of mine, and that I see him fairly frequently. We play golf together". Birling continually tries to intimidate him by mentioning his apparent authority, and patronises the Inspector - "look here, Inspector. I consider this uncalled-for and officious. I've half a mind to report you". Again, Birling's pompous personality shines through, but the Inspector seems to take it in his stride and merely brushes off the comments that Birling throws at him: "I don't play golf". I feel that Priestley decided to portray Arthur Birling as taking the Inspector's arrival quite badly to demonstrate just how shallow and thick-skinned society can be, and how we cannot easily accept our mistakes. The Inspector is the one in the play who brings us back down to Earth and makes us realise that. As well as being the messenger, Inspector Goole is also the strongest character in the play, maintaining complete control of the situation at hand and demonstrating his authority frequently. ...read more.

Conclusion

As well as this, the Inspector's speech makes good use of the word 'we', uniting the Birlings with the people that they feel they are superior to - poor people. By the way that the Inspector declares "we are members of one body. We are responsible for each other", he makes clever use of the word 'are', which in turn finalises the idea that we are members of one body, and we are responsible for one another. It is also contradictory to a section of one of Arthur Birling's speeches: "By the way some of these cranks talk and write now, you'd think everybody has to look after everybody else" which is the complete opposite to what the Inspector is announcing. The passage also anticipates World War One, in the sense that at the very end, the Inspector says "if men will not learn that lesson, they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish" - this, to the Birlings, is a prophetic statement, but the reader and audience are aware of it as it has already come to pass. To emphasise that idea, the Inspector lengthens the list of words he mentions; instead of just using a comma between "fire" and "blood", he chooses to use 'and', which sensationalises the comment and makes it sound somewhat more important than if he had just normally listed those specific words. ...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. What was the playwrights meesage to the reader in An Inspector Calls?

    It is used to promote the inspector, yet to mock Mr.Birling. The speech given by Mr.Birling at the beginning of the play sees him proudly stating that 'as a hard-headed business man' he thinks that 'there isn't a chance of two world wars and the sinking of the famous Titanic.

  2. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    She endures many shocks, and she learns more about her family than she ever thought she would know, especially about Eric and his drinking habits. This is because she is self-centred. At the end of the play she shares her husband and Gerald's jubilation that the Inspector was a hoax.

  1. The Speckled Band Essay

    The atmosphere in Stoke Moran is cautious and apprehensive as is the mood, this fits with the scene as the outside is dark and dreary. There seems to be a totally different atmosphere of Stoke Moran for different times of the day.

  2. Directors notes and stage instructions for An Inspector Calls

    Two hours ago a young woman died in the Infirmary. She'd been taken there this afternoon because she'd swallowed a lot of strong disinfectant. Burnt her inside out of course' This shocks Mr Birling instantly Mr Birling: '(involuntarily) My God!'

  1. This essay will be exploring why and how J.B Priestley presents Arthur Birling in ...

    The way Birling is presented also gives the audience the impression that he would whatever it takes increase the capital in his business, "Birling and Company". A very good example of this is the "arranged" marriage between Gerald Croft and Sheila Birling.

  2. 'An Inspector Calls' Consider the role of the inspector and the effect he has ...

    The Inspector relays the effects of the Birlings' upon Eva smith and this helps the audience to build up a picture of the victim. She was a lively, hard working, good looking girl. We feel sorry for Eva Smith because of how she was treated by Birling.

  1. "An Inspector Calls" - issues raised in the play concerning the social structure ...

    It is also used as another attempt for Mr. Birling to improving his own his own social status and get one over on his peers who are seen as from higher classes than himself. These continuing attempts from Mr. Birling to be seen as having a high status emphasise the

  2. An inspector calls essay

    This view is clearly challenged by Inspector Goole, because an Inspector is a working class person. During this time, just after Queen Victoria's death, Britain was quite puritanical and Calvinistic in thought. That is they felt immoral behavior and little work or effort was bad and worth punishment or no help.

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