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"An Inspector Calls" John Boyton Priestley

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G.C.S.E English Coursework "An Inspector Calls" John Boyton Priestley was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on the 13th September 1894. He served in the First World War; the events that happened influenced his writing a great deal. He narrowly missed death twice. In 1925 his wife died of cancer. He also opposed to the class system. The play "An Inspector Calls" is set in the Birling's dining room in the spring of 1912. The evening celebration was for Sheila, Mr Birling's daughter, and Gerald's engagement. During the night they talk about good times and joyful memories. Mr Birling, who is a successful factory owner frequently comments about his status in society, even whilst Gerald and the reader know that his wife Sybil, who is said to be "rather cold", is his social superior. Mr Birling is very hopeful about the future. He says about how the Titanic is "unsinkable", and it sinks quite awfully on it's maiden voyage, and how he thinks that war would be an impossibility, and war breaks out in 1914, these are examples dramatic irony, as the reader knows what happens to the Titanic and the public knowing a war will be inevitable. ...read more.


The group have all different reactions to Inspector Goole's entrance and the suicide of Eva Smith. When Goole arrives Birling says, have a glass of port - or a little whisky?" he is very welcoming towards him. When the Inspector starts to tell the characters about the reason he is there Birling becomes angry and uptight. When Sheila comes in to ask when he is going to join his wife in the streets, she becomes very curious and interrupts with, "what's this about streets?" When she notices Inspector Goole she immediately becomes very lady-like. The Inspector explains why he is there and she becomes very upset, she behaves as if she knew Eva Smith very well. Mr Birling still has the attitude of "I still can't accept any responsibility". Mr Birling is partly responsible for Eva Smith's suicide he discharged her from his factory for "suddenly wanting more money", he was responsible for her being out of work for two months, being forced into lodgings and being "half-starved". Overall he is not totally responsible for the suicide itself. Birling's son, Eric, causes this. He paid Eva for sexual intercourse when she became a prostitute and she fell pregnant with his lovechild. ...read more.


She is stable about the breaking up of her engagement and remains cool, calm and collected. She will not be hurried into accepting the wedding ring back once the Inspector had left, she is unable to accept her parent's attitude and behaviour towards the Inspector and she is both amazed and concerned that they haven't learned anything from the occurrence. Although the Inspector might be a hoax, the family have still behaved in an entirely unsuitable manner, she feels. She also learns of her responsibilities to others less fortunate than herself and the importance of the community. She is sensitive towards everything. Her readiness to learn from experience is in great contrast to her parents. This play was relevant to the audience at that time; it was like "d�j� vu" of their past. Priestly feels guilty about the lower classes so he tries to demolish stereotypes, i.e. Eva being a "normal" unemployed girl of her time. Inspector Goole is Priestley's perspective. The message the play is trying to convey is that we should take responsibility for our actions and consider the consequences the might have for other members of society. Priestley is also trying to say that you shouldn't keep things secret because you conscience will unravel them. By Paul Archer ...read more.

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