• 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 again shows her ignorance about Erics drinking even after Sheila tells her about it. By this Priestley wants to show us that the upper class treat the working class worse than people in their own class. Following the Inspector's questioning of Sheila, we find that she reacts guiltily towards her past actions towards Eva smith.

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

    She had been through quite a lot so she was nearly forced on the streets until she met Gerald who fell in love with her. In the end she commits suicide by drinking disinfectant as she felt that her life was ruined and she had no one to go to.

  1. The techniques used by Priestley in An Inspector Calls

    The inspector explained that afterwards Eva Smith had changed her name to Daisy Renton and Gerald becomes "startled" upon hearing this and instantly gives himself away to recognizing the name. The audience if sharp will recognize Gerald's reaction and will become aware that there is another twist in the tale now involving Gerald.

  2. 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.

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

    They then are introduced back into the play when the inspector questions Gerald. Gerald's affair is discovered, which again shows another way that social responsibility has been explored. He then moves on to Mrs Birling, which again shows how he is developing the plot further.

  2. Inspector calls

    Even if Gerald had not been responsible for the death of Eva Smith, his actions certainly have a consequence as he is engaged to Sheila, who now knows that Gerald was having another relationship while they were together. Gerald's relationship with the girl defines Priestley's opinion about the upper classes,

  1. Essay on "An Inspector Calls" by J.B. Priestley

    the Inspector was aware of Gerald's crucial return and the phone call. The Inspectors timing of speech also creates drama and suspense; as he enters, the stage directions describe his way of speech as, "carefully" and "weightily." This method creates drama throughout the play.

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

    It is my opinion that she only becomes hysterical when one of the other persons being questioned starts to, or intends to, lie to the Inspector. This, I feel, is actually due to Sheila's perceptive nature as, after she herself is questioned, she realises the Inspector knows a lot more than he is letting on.

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