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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


"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.

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. Marked by a teacher

    How does the character Sheila Birlings change in the play An Inspector Calls?

    5 star(s)

    of her family has played a part in Eva Smith's downfall and suicide. In addition, Sheila demanded that Milwards would sack her. Gerald had an affair with Eva, but discontinued it. Mr. Birling was heavy-handed and sacked her when she went on strike.

  2. Inspector Calls A Grade

    people' demonstrates how he has separated himself to his 'lower class' employees and this further shows how he is portrayed as arrogant through interaction with other characters. One clever thing that Priestly did was to present Birling as an extremely foolish person.

  1. Character Analysis - Gerald Croft.

    The reason why Mr. Birling and Gerald agree so much is because they both come from similar if not identical backgrounds, as they both are upper class. Additionally Gerald continuously seems to take sides with Mr. and Mrs. Birling. He is oblivious to the consequences of his actions and is

  2. Discuss how Priestley presents Mr. Birling's character to the audience in the opening of ...

    Birling replied, 'No. And I don't see where I come into this' he tried to take his name out of it. We can tell that Mr. Birling did not know who Eva Smith was because he did not care and he dehumanized his workers as money-making machines although they are individuals with feelings.

  1. Write about Gerald Croft his role in the play, character and relationships

    This is dramatic irony, as the audience in 1946 would know, a world war did break out, and the Titanic did sink. Gerald is a 'male chauvinist pig', believing that women are lesser to men, as shown when he agrees with Mr Birling when Arthur says that clothes are "...a sort of sign or token of their self-respect".

  2. "An Inspector Calls" - Which Character do you have the most sympathy for?

    She has learnt her lesson in the worst possible way. "Arthur Birling" sees himself as an esteemed member of his community. He believes in "rugged individualism", meaning that a person should strive to be the best, regardless of who he leaves behind.

  1. Compare the script of 'An Inspector Calls' to the filmed version

    At happy or triumphant moments a happy, jolly, cheery music plays in the background such as when Gerald met Eva and saved her from a nasty man. In the script the characters are based in the living room for nearly the entire play, which would make it, a bit boring

  2. inspector calls

    'Why did you do that?' And, 'How was it the girls fault?' Sheila is shown a picture of Eva, but after; 'She gives a half-stifle sob and runs out.' When he interviews Gerald Croft, he refuses to acknowledge Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton. But we later find out that he had kept her as his mistress

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