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

An Inspector Calls - In 1894 J.B Priestley was born into a middle class family in Bradford.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Inspector Calls In 1894 J.B Priestley was born into a middle class family in Bradford. As his grandparents were working class, Priestley had an insight into both social tiers and the strong divide between them. Priestley became bombarded with opinions from a multi-talented philosophical social reformer, George Bernard Shaw. George Bernard Shaw believed an improvement in human nature was long overdue and the quote 'It's all that the young can do for the old, to shock them and keep them up to date' left a permanent impression in Priestley's thoughts that would later influence his writing. Throughout his lifetime Priestley saw many unnecessary disasters such as lower class people dying from the cold, mill explosions and an unemployment epidemic with a lack of government assistance. The liberating suffragette movement combined with the eloquent influence of H.G Wells throughout it allowed Priestley to accept society changing as a possible occurrence. Although, the tragedy of death and destruction caused by the First World War shook society, these mistakes were not only repeated, but also magnified in the Second World War. Witnessing these unnecessary disasters, Priestley began to form strong opinions about the problems in society. In 1945, when the Second World War ended, Priestley wrote 'An Inspector Calls' in Moscow and incorporated the communist views of the Soviet Union with the opinions of H.G Wells and George Bernard Shaw. ...read more.

Middle

One example of Priestley's ideas about social status being unrelated to ones nobility, is communicated through the inspector as he says 'Sometimes there isn't as much difference as you think.' In response to 'we're respectable citizens and not criminals, Priestley did not want too much attention concentrated on who the inspector was, but to the points he made. As a result the inspector spoke concisely with little emotion or information about himself, he would either ask a question 'She talked about herself.', a comment to show he was listening such as 'Go on' or a judgmental comment such as 'I was looking at what was left of Eva Smith. A nice promising life there, I thought, and a nasty mess somebody's made of it' referring to the Birling family symbolising the destruction cause by someone's unnecessary action to instigate a war. Unlike conventional police inspectors, it becomes apparent he thinks he is entitled to pass judgement on the character's actions in the play. It raises many questions about who is the inspector, maybe he is a police inspector or a hoaxer or something greater than a human being and Priestley aims to convince his readers of the inspectors views. The inspector's judgmental comments transform the detective story into a moralistic tale and the audience seems to connect to Eric and Sheila's views that 'Whoever the chap [inspector] was, the fact remains that I did what I did' and so agreed it is irrelevant whoever the inspector is. ...read more.

Conclusion

Perhaps Gerald is just attempting to satisfy Mr and Mrs Birling as they are his future in laws. To regain some creditability after the revealing of Gerald's actions he is determined to impress Mr and Mrs Birling by suggesting 'Was it a hoax?' As Mr and Mrs Birling are so anxious to remove their blame they congratulate Gerald immediately 'I must say, Gerald you've argued this very cleverly, and I'm most grateful.' Priestley conveys his message forcefully throughout the play, he introduces Mr Birling as an un-likeable character so the audience can accept the inspectors remarks about Birlings views. As Priestley aimed in this play at the younger generation audience, he involved many techniques to persuade them to his views, such as building up selfish characters to warn the young audiences this is what they will become. Priesltey included young, ignorant characters who the young audience can identify with, when Eric and Sheila are shown the effect of their actions, they immediately take responsibility, as he hoped the young audience would. The inspector constantly says many righteous comments, which become more effective as the play proceeds. As the audience and characters are slowly worn down by the increasing amount of evidence, the inspector says a speech that the characters can not argue with as the inspector's views have so much evidence supporting it. The dramatic structure increases to the tension that intrigues the audiences and forces them to think about the issues. ...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. An Inspector Calls - What reactions does Priestley intend the audience to have to ...

    This shows that Eva Smith had morals. This also shows Eric does care for her but he did use his position to abuse Eva Smith by making love to her while she was under a treat of violence from Eric. Dramatic irony is a technique also used to great effect by Priestley to help keep the audience interested.

  2. How J.B. Priestley Creates Sympathy for Eva Smith in "An Inspector Calls"

    Eva is described as "a lively good-looking girl, country bred", and "a good worker", and by Sheila as someone who looked like she could "take care of herself". These personal details show the audience that Eva's death was a tragic waste.

  1. How does JB Priestley present the social issues of the Edwardian period in 'An ...

    Eric can see the comparison between Mr Birling trying to do the best for them, and the workers doing the same for themselves and their families. Mr Birling won't allow these sentiments, however, and sees them as a bad attitude.

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

    On the other hand Sheila looked at it as a lesson well learnt. However the tension remains to some extent as the two generations confirm the differences as suggested by the inspector.

  1. The techniques used by Priestley in An Inspector Calls

    she recognizes it and runs out of the room crying. Birling goes after her to find out why and to inform his wife of what's happening. When Sheila re-enters she admits to knowing the girl and getting her sacked from Milwards by using her mother's position.

  2. An Inspector Calls - Compare and contrast the reactions of the older generation and ...

    However, when we examine the play more carefully, we see that Sheila's apparent hysteria is due to the actions, namely the statements, of her family, in particular her parents. Sheila is the second person to be questioned, after Mr. Birling, and it is almost directly after this questioning that she starts to display signs of the aforementioned hysterical behaviour.

  1. How does JB Priestley expound his views of social hypocrisy in An Inspector Calls?

    This is described like this because the Birlings family want people who come to their house not to be comfortable. The solid furniture in their home is symbolic since it shows that they are not interested in the problems of the lower class plight as long as they are in profits.

  2. "An Inspector Calls", by J.B Priestley - review

    Priestley's beliefs ran all through the play's core and due to the unique characterisation of the Inspector, they were finally allowed to disperse in true form. The Inspector's character, ultimately acting as Priestley's device, enabled him to deliver his opinion across, with all the authority needed to finally transform a twisted society.

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