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

An Inspector Calls - Priestley’s presentation on society’s value of the play.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Priestley's Presentation on Society's Value of the Play Varun Gupta "An Inspector Calls" is set on an evening in Spring of 1912. J.B. Priestley set the play in 1912 because life before the First World War was exactly the opposite of how people wanted life to be like after the Second World War. It takes place in the dining room of the Birling's house in Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands. The play is based around a mysterious inspector, who calls at the Birling's house to investigate the suicide of a young girl. The Birlings represent a typical Upper Class family of 1912. Their house represents their own 'small' world and the walls surrounding them are their protection from the outside world and reality. Mr. Birling is a hard headed businessman and sees most things as an opportunity for a new business venture, for example his daughters engagement to Gerald Croft, an aristocrat. Gerald's father owns a company that is a rival to Mr Birling's firm, Birling and Company. Mr Birling is hoping that the two companies may eventually merge. "... and now you've brought us together, and perhaps we may look forward to the time when Crofts and Birlings are no longer competing but are working together- for lower costs and higher prices." Birling also hopes to improve his social status with Gerald and Sheila marrying, as Gerald's family, the Crofts, are aristocrats. ...read more.

Middle

Once Sheila is involved in the questioning, she keeps 'digging herself into a hole'. When the Inspector shows Sheila the photograph of Eva Smith, she runs out of the room, hysterical and crying, leaving the audience and the rest of the family wondering how she knew the girl in the photograph. Birling quickly exits, to go after Sheila, despite Gerald offering to go after her. Just before Birling exits, he turns angrily to the Inspector: "We were having a nice little family celebration tonight, and a nasty mess you've made of it now, haven't you?" This proves that at this point, Birling is still wrapped up in his own life, and blames the Inspector for spoiling their celebration. At this point, obviously Birling has not learnt anything from the Inspector questioning him. When Birling leaves the room, the mood between the Inspector, Gerald and Eric goes from angry and heated, to rather uneasy, probably due to the Inspectors short and what seems to be cryptic replies and answers when asked questions. Right throughout the play but especially at this point, Birling keeps on trying to protect his daughter from the Inspector and his invasive questioning. This is very ironic as this is exactly the opposite to the way how he treated Eva Smith, who had no-one to protect her from the evil of the world and society. Sheila returns, calmer than she was before, after seeing the photograph. She comes back in as though she is prepared for the questions the Inspector has to ask her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Birling is obviously still feeling the stress as he looses his temper with Eric and threatens to throw him out. When a debate arises over the fact of whether or not it was the same girl in the photographs and even if a girl ever actually committed suicide, Gerald decides to find out for definite. He phones the Infirmary who informs him that there hasn't been a suicide for months. Birling, Mrs Birling and Gerald begin to celebrate and Birling even jokes about the Inspectors final speech but Eric and Sheila remain tense and frightened about everything that has happened that night. The whole play comes to a head when the phone rings for a final time. There is silence as Birling goes to answer it. There is a brief conversation before the other person hangs up. "Yes... Mr Birling speaking ... What? - Here? -" The family stares guiltily and dumbfounded as Birling tells them: "A girl has just died - on her way to the Infirmary - after swallowing some disinfectant. And a police inspector is on his way here - to ask some - questions -" The whole play is based upon exits and entrances of the characters and the importance of what goes on in-between them. J.B. Priestley has tried to show that if we do not learn from experiences of what is going on around us, it will continue to happen and will only stop once we have learnt to change our ways and live together as one large society or community. ...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. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    The play is set in a town called Brumley. This is fictional setting but the acute description provided by Priestley suggests it was based on his home town Bradford. The description of Brumley portrays a typical industrial based town, yet is notoriously more important than other towns as it has its own Lord Mayor and a police force with a chief constable.

  2. How does Priestley create tension in the play through characterisation, structure and atmosphere?

    As the inspector stands at the door for a few moments and while Sheila looks at Gerald almost in triumph as to say 'are you going to tell the truth or lie to us again?' The break between Act one and Act two shows the difference in what the characters comprehend about the inspector and what they discover from him.

  1. What was Priestley’s purpose in writing An Inspector Calls? Show how in two of ...

    He uses much dramatic irony by insisting that the Titanic was unsinkable and that there would not be another war in the 1940's. I think he does this to try and prove to other people that he is better than other people and has the knowledge that people of a lower class would not have.

  2. Directors notes and stage instructions for An Inspector Calls

    Birling: 'What's the matter with her? Eric: 'She recognized her from the photograph, didn't she?' Mr Birling then begins to get angry that the Inspector has upset his daughter and the Inspector in his usual cool and held back tone denies upsetting her.

  1. On page 56 of J.B Priestlys Play An Inspector Calls, the Inspector makes his ...

    This shows how she understands the need to recognise the link between them, Eva and the inspector. This is an example of her belief in social responsibility and labour views. Eric also is able to recognise his mistakes and also doesn't try to hide things from the inspector.

  2. "You and I aren't the same people who sat down together before dinner" Sheila ...

    public than whatever he did to Eva Smith and makes fun of Eric and Sheila for "not being able to take a joke�. However, the phone call he receives at the end of the play is not at all funny to him.

  1. 'An Inspector Calls' - How does Priestley's presentation of the Inspector create dramatic tension ...

    By changing the intensity of the lighting the audience knows that the play is becoming more serious. The contrasts of the moods would emphasise how different the mood is now. The lighting that is turned up when the Inspector arrives is symbolic, because it represents that light is being shed on the family.

  2. Focus on the passage beginning (Gerald: Anyway we'll see) to the end of the ...

    Mr.Birling is only concerned about his family's loving and respectable fa�ade breaking. He is purely concerned about his business and the increase in material profit. This also shows us just how reluctant the older generation are to change in relation to a communist society.

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