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An Inspector Calls - Write fully about one of the characters in the play.

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Introduction

Write fully about one of the characters in the play. Take into account what they have done before the play begins as well as their actions, words and attitudes during the course of the play. Write about the way attitudes, moods and opinions change and develop during the course of the action on the stage. An Inspector Calls is a play with many social and political messages. J. B. Priestley believed a great deal in socialism and he used several of his plays to try and influence people to his way of thinking. It was written in a time when Britain was ruled by a Labour government and socialist policies were seen as the way forward. It was a popular way of thinking at that time so Priestley's aim for the play was probably to teach the unconvinced. The play is set in the house of the Birling family. As soon as the curtains open, it is clear that the family is wealthy because there is high quality furniture and decoration in the house in which the play is set. The family use their house as a status symbol and have decorated it in a way so as to reflect their wealth. We learn this from the "few imposing but tasteless pictures" which will probably have been chosen because they were expensive, not because they were liked. ...read more.

Middle

As he has no relationship with any body in his family, he resorts to drinking. Eric and Mr Birling's "respectable" friends have also seen to go to these types of bars, such as Alderman Meggarty. Gerald has also has done the same. As they are wealthy businessmen nobody says anything, even though they treat women badly. Mr and Mrs Birling don't seem to care what there son has been up to and the reasons for his behaviour, they are more concerned with covering up a "scandal". "I'm absolutely ashamed of you", says his mother who seems to care very little about her son. Eric doesn't have many friends, that could help him out or relate to him, and his family certainly aren't on his side. Sheila seems to care about him but merely because he is in such a terrible mess. His actions seem to be due to an isolated and unsupported childhood, brought up by the rules and regulations of such type of family. He is a product of a narrow-minded middle-class family, who don't appreciate change or variation from the norm. Eric in the frustration of the examining by the inspector and under immense pressure from bring found out shows his true colours to his family saying "You don't understand anything. ...read more.

Conclusion

It's what happened to the girl and what we did to her that matters. And I still feel the same about it, and that's why I don't feel like sitting here and having a nice cosy talk." Although every single person is to blame, Eric seems to be the guiltiest, and his wayward behaviour makes him the villain; it would be easier to blame it all on him, so they do. He is showing regret for his actions and saying that it's wrong to go about pretending as though nothing has happened when clearly something has. He is trying to make them see that they can change. We can only feel empathy for this type of character, as although he seems to have caused the most problems he regrets his actions and wants to try and change. The play finishes with a telephone call from the police saying that "A girl has just died.... after swallowing some disinfectant" and a real Inspector will question the family. This is an unexpected twist. The fake Inspector was there to punish them on a moral level and to try and make them feel guilty enough to change their behaviour. This was accomplished with Eric and Sheila, but not with the others. The only thing that they would be affected by was a "public scandal," and the real Inspector would ensure that that is what they would get. Without this twist, it would seem that the Birling parents and Gerald would escape unpunished. 1 ...read more.

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