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

"An inspector calls" has been described as "a play with a message." What is the message of the play? How effectively does J.B Priestly convey his message?

Extracts from this document...


"An inspector calls" has been described as "a play with a message." What is the message of the play? How effectively does J.B Priestly convey his message? In this essay I will be answering the above question of what the message is in the play Inspector Calls and will discuss how the author J.B. Priestly conveys this. Inspector Calls is a play about the suicide of a girl whose family then become under interrogation and are exposed as having deep dark secrets and, individually played a part in the death of Eva Smith. It also about the family issues and that at the beginning of the play the family are very smug and self satisfied, but by the end and because of the death of Eva all the barriers are destroyed and they have to reassess their values. The message of the play is that you should take responsibility for your own actions, and "we are all responsible for each other and must think before we act." The Inspector helps us see this by individually checking Eva's family members and getting them to admit that they each played a part in her death. The character Birling is shown to be very selfish and greedy. ...read more.


The Inspector tells Sheila that "a customer complained about her - and she had to go," it is then that we learn that the customer was in fact Sheila. Sheila was a very important costumer to the department store, (Milwards) and used this to her advantage to get Eva fired, she had complained that Eva had laughed at her, when she tried on a dress, but perhaps the real reason was that Sheila was jealous that Eva looked so much better than her in the dress and it was because of this, that she, "Couldn't feel sorry for her". Priestly has Sheila showing a lot of different emotions at this point, she cries at first, then becomes miserable, then distressed and then stormily. Priestley is saying that Sheila behaves very differently in a short space of time, and that with her tempers she shows she is self centred "when I was looking at myself in the mirror I caught sight of her smiling at the assistant, and I was furious with her. I'd been in a bad temper anyhow." The audience is less critical of Sheila than Birling as she shows more regret and guilt over the fact she could have played a part in Eva's death. ...read more.


"And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish." He wants the family to realise that if they think more in future then they can have a better impact of other people's lives and help to prevent this sort of thing happening again, it's all about responsibility. Priestly continues to leave the message responsibility with the audience even after the Inspector leaves. The family are left discussing the night's events and are still continuing to blame one another, except for Sheila who asks, "Have you not learnt anything tonight." Sheila is the only one who really shows remorse for what happened and believes that she was partly responsible for Eva's suicide. The message of the play "we are all responsible for each other" is clear throughout. Priestley's writing of the involvement of each of the characters was cleverly done. Each character shared the same amount of responsibility in the involvement of Eva's death and Priestly makes us aware of how bad treatment towards someone can lead to something more. In all of Eva's relationships she is the one without power, the only control she gains is by killing herself and the unborn child she was carrying. ...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 is Priestley's message in 'An Inspector Calls' and how does he convey this ...

    as it made them realize everything is not so straight forward such as when Arthur Birling makes predictions for the future about the titanic being unsinkable, the impossibility of war as well as the promise and progression of technology in the near future.

  2. How does J.B Priestley use the character of Sheila Birling to convey his message ...

    Sheila's response was like the response you would have expect to get if she had been told of the death of a pet or an associate. Because Sheila didn't know Eva Smith directly she wasn't too upset, but she was more distraught when she realised that she may have been partly responsible for Eva's death.

  1. Free essay

    "AN INSPECTOR CALLS" By J. B. Priestly has been described as a play of ...

    Well, pathetic as it maybe to have someone fired because they look better in a dress then you do, Priestly does this purposefully to show the spoilt part of society. But Shelia does not just show the na�ve, pathetic part of society, Priestly writes her as to be more of

  2. J. B Priestly’s play has been described as an allegory. To what extent do ...

    She also likes to believe that she is in complete control of her "perfect" family. This illusion is shattered however late on in the text when the truth about Eric's drinking is revealed. She is also a hypocrite as when the inspector informs her of the fate of Daisy Renton/

  1. How does J.B Priestly explore the issues of social responsibility on 'An Inspector Calls'?

    is so horrified by her own actions in Milwards that she has to leave the room. On returning back she admits her jealousy of Eva's good looks and is ready to take the blame maturely. The use of this character is another way that Priestly is able to explore social

  2. How does the character of Eva Smith develop J B Priestley's message to the ...

    "A man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own." Gerald declares that he left Eva when he no longer needed her. "I had to go away for several weeks then - on business - and by that time Daisy knew it was coming to an end.

  1. An Inspector Calls is a play with strong morals. How does Priestley use Inspector ...

    After Goole exits the stage, The Birlings and Gerald Croft are left uncertain of what awaits them in the near future. From this anxiety that brews within the characters mind, Priestley uses the Inspector to extract and exploit the reactions of the Birlings.

  2. An Inspector Calls - Social message.

    Priestley throws in two twists at the end. Firstly we have the problem of who the Inspector really was: a trickster determined to make fools of them or some sort of avenging spirit come to make them see the evil of their ways?

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