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

'An inspector Calls' was written in September 1945. This story takes place in 1912, right before the

Extracts from this document...


'An inspector Calls' was written in September 1945. This story takes place in 1912, right before the 1st World War in Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands. Priestly set the play in 1912 on purpose, so that he could allow the characters to be na�ve about what was going to happen in the future. At the beginning we can see that Mr. Birling is a man of political status and enjoys giving lectures and having long discussions. He makes a lot of points on worldly matters, and gives his predictions on the future. Most of these discernments seem to be wrong. For example he puts forward that, "Nobody wants war". Though it was very clear that at the time Europe was splitting into two groups called the 'Triple Alliance' and 'Triple Entente'. He went further on to say. "The Germans don't want war" However we all know this wasn't true, as the arm's race began between England and Germany, and this would bring chaos to England. But Priestly was not only trying to show that Mr. Birling was some what confused or less informed with the World's status. He was emphasising the knowledge of any other person living in England at that time. Thus many people shared the same opinions of Mr. Birling, and this might have been a cause for the downfall of England. Mr. Birling extends his ignorance, by saying "Titanic is unsinkable". Though again, he was wrong, as the "greatest steamer in the world" was sunk by an Iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. ...read more.


He has very clever attitudes, towards the people he speaks to, giving the other characters a sense of him already knowing what they are about to say. This is evident, at the end of Act 1, where Sheila Birling, almost 'clocks on' to the method of the Inspectors investigation. She almost reads him like a book, though she is very far away from what he is actually trying to prove with the case. In a way, Priestly has projected his feelings through the Inspectors Character. Inspector Goole constantly brings up the problems with the social 'hierarchy' if you will. He refers to the people of society being, "...members of one body. We are responsible for each other". He expresses his feeling on how there shouldn't be 'class systems' and everyone should be equal, quite the opposite to Mr. Birling's opinion on Brumley. Nevertheless, creating an interesting clash of moral beliefs and adding to the tension in the play. Inspector Goole and/or Priestly try to draw attention to the situations the 'lower class' was put through. Hence 'Eva Smith's' story, Inspector Goole, beautifully illustrates the in-justice she had been through. In such a way, each character present in that room had a distinct feeling of guilt. "Both her parents were dead, so that she'd no home to go back to and she hadn't been able to save much out of what Birling and company had paid her." But not only does this message get to the characters in the play, but the audience as well. ...read more.


Despite the mysterious ending, where the question of whether 'a young women had actually committed suicide or not?' had arose. It was irrelevant, and further more showed the stubbornness of Mr. Birling, where after confirming, no such girl had died. The tension completely plummeted and the atmosphere was merrier than ever. Not only was there a sense of relief, but Mr. Birling was experiencing anger. While the audience observe this they too are relieved. Though after the phone call, with the news of a girl committing suicide, reaches the house. Suddenly, Priestly has built up this tremendous feeling of hatred and discontent towards Mr. Birling. Successfully creating sympathy for the girl, whether it was 'Eva Smith' or not, this wasn't the point. The message put across was, that the consequences, of 'upper and lower class' structure were dire. Conclusion: In conclusion the characteristics and role, of Inspector Goole and Arthur Birling, are very different. Mr. Birling is used, to show hatred towards the 'upper class', whereas Inspector Goole, reinforces Priestley's socialistic opinions. The two men constantly threaten each other, and try to justify there purpose and role in the case in hand. Priestly uses various dramatic devices, to capture the audience's attention. For example, making the entrance of Inspector Goole's mysterious. Also the 'dramatic irony' of Mr. Birling's predicaments of the future. We can now understand how Priestly uses Inspector Goole, to question Mr. Birling. Not just of his actions, but of his moral beliefs, and how they are, in Priestley's opinion, wrong. Priestly has achieved in putting this strong message across to the audience, through the role of Inspector Goole. ...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. How Do The Characters In An Inspector Calls Reflect 1912 Society?

    Eva then had no other alternative but to turn to prostitution. Many working-class women in 1912 had to resort to prostitution so that they had money to use, this was because women in 1912 had no say and if they were to express their opinions no one took any interest in them.

  2. 'An Inspector Calls' is based in 1912, before the first and second world war, ...

    As far as Gerald's relationship with Sheila goes he too sees her the same way as Mr Birling does. Immature and hysterical and like Mr and Mrs Birling he doesn't see how Sheila matures throughout the play. At the end of the play he expects Sheila to take him back

  1. 'An Inspector calls' is set in 1912 and was written for a 1946 audience. ...

    In the last 1 1/2 pages Priestly uses more then ten adjectives as directors notes, and the list includes the following: 'agitated', 'severely', 'bitterly', 'grimly' 'triumphantly', to name a few. The characters hysteria creates a ball of mixed emotions, in which the audience get caught up, and feel the suspense.

  2. JB Priestly wrote "An Inspector Calls" in 1945, during the ending of the Second ...

    These are the important messages shown in the play, which have an overall conclusion of each character at the end. The theme of "class division" is seen throughout the play. In act 2 the class division is seen between Gerald and Sheila.

  1. Analyse the character of Inspector Goole. Compare and contrast him with Arthur Birling. What ...

    In fact, the inspector manages to have the characters admit to the truth and does not have to force them into confession at all. He works very systematically; he likes to deal with one person at a time. As Sheila puts it, "He's giving us the rope - so that we'll hang ourselves."

  2. How do various attitudes reflect Social, Cultural and Historical values, both of the time ...

    has been seeing "Daisy Renton" until very recently, and his instinctive exclamation of "My God!" shows he knows whom the Inspector is talking about when he mentions the murder for the first time. We can see this by his initial anxiety about the girl's fate, for example when he asks

  1. Consider the ways in which Priestley's portrayal of Inspector Goole an the way in ...

    He is very much concerned with his social positioning and twice mentions that he was Lord Mayor as a way of impressing Gerald (his future son in-law who is from a family of a higher social class than the Birling's)

  2. How do various attitudes, in your opinion, reflect Social, Cultural and Historical values, both ...

    This means that Mrs Birling is immediately prejudiced against Eva Smith, dismissing her death with the comment "Girls of that class...�. and she ignores Sheila's warning about building up a "wall� between herself and the Inspector. Further examples of this snobbery are shown when she tries to impress the Inspector

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