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an inspector calls - What does the inspector want to teach the Birlings and Gerald Croft in 'An Inspector Calls'?

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Introduction

What does the inspector want to teach the Birlings and Gerald Croft in 'An Inspector Calls'? J.B. Priestley wrote 'An Inspector Calls' in 1945 although it was set in 1912, two years before the 1st World War when society was still judged in groups of social classes. J.B Priestley intended to show people that all groups of social classes should be just one not the poor and the rich but all united. Although he thought that unless people changed the 1st and 2nd world wars saw only terrible trouble and tragedy lie ahead for society. The play is based on an upper middle class family the Birlings and the turn of events that are about to happen to them. The Birling family are spending a happy evening celebrating the engagement of Sheila Birling to Gerald Croft - a marriage that will result in the merging of two successful local businesses. Yet, just when everything seems to be going so well, they receive a surprise visit from an Inspector Goole who is investigating the suicide of a young girl. The inspector goes round the family asking many questions and reveals how each character in turn has contributed to the unhappy circumstances that apparently drove this girl to a violent, horrible death. In the play J.B. Priestley uses the characters and attitudes of the Birling family, especially Mr. ...read more.

Middle

Especially when he starts to ask how Gerald meet Eva/Daisy and how well they got on. Coming up to the end of the play Sheila's appearance has totally changed from the description J. B Priestley give the reader at the beginning. She can not believe that her parents and Gerald are for trying to "pretend that nothing much has happened." Sheila says "It frightens me the way you talk:" At the start Gerald is described as "an attractive chap about thirty, rather too manly to be a dandy but very much the easy well-bred young man-about town." But his appearance changes when the inspector starts to unfold his secret life with Eva/Daisy. He did have some genuine feeling for Daisy Renton, however: he is very moved when he hears of her death. He tells Inspector Goole that he arranged for her to live in his friend's flat "because I was sorry for her"; she became his mistress because "She was young and pretty and warm-hearted - and intensely grateful." But after he returns from leaving the Birlings house he tells them that he meet a friend who is on the force and asked him if he had ever heard of an inspector called Goole but he hadn't. After telling the Birling that the inspector is an impostor he believes that he is in the clear about having a mistress and offers Sheila the engagement ring again. ...read more.

Conclusion

"We did her in all right." J.B. Priestley is successful in exposing the shallowness and uncaring side of the human nature through his characters. He shows this through the two characters of Mr. Birling and Sheila. For example Mr. Birling starts off being extremely stuck-up and pompous whereas towards the end of the play he becomes ashamed of what he has done and realises he has to save his reputation. After he finds out the inspector is an impostor he is very pleased that he has not jeopardised his reputation. Sheila on the other hand starts off being ungrateful and is only bothered about the ring from Gerald and being engaged. Towards the end she realises that she has played a part in the death of a young women just because she had been in a "furious temper" that day. This shows that people even though they are in a higher class then common people they still make mistakes and responsibilities. Finally I think that even though the play was written in 1945 it can still appeal to modern audiences and teach them that even though there are not any certain classes in the present there are still people that think they are better than other and have higher authority which gives them the right to be correct but they must remember that every one is the same we all make mistake and problems but we sort them out in the right way. ?? ?? ?? ?? KIERON LYNCH 10HV PAGE 1 OF 4 ...read more.

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