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Analyse and compare the roles of two characters in 'An Inspector Calls' By J B Priestley

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Jessica King 10G Analyse and compare the roles of two characters in 'An Inspector Calls' By J B Priestley An inspector calls was written in 1946. However it was set in 1912. I think this tells us that the time of which is was written is very significant. As at this time in particular the emphasis on classes in society was very much more than it was later. The play is set in a fictional industrial town called Brumley. It is a typical town where factory owners where able to offer much needed employment and run things exactly how they wanted. J B Priestly offers us an insight to this and also shows us what the social class difference meant to one particular family. The play is all set in the family dining room. The Birlings are a rich family and very high up in society. The dining room is described as 'substantial and heavily comfortable, but not cosy or homelike' This really shows the richness of the house and the how grand everything is, but how nothing is 'relaxing' like a normal family home is. I think this reflects the families inner tensions, but very outward comforts. In this essay I am aiming to analyse and also compare to very contrasting characters from this play. ...read more.


But she does give an over all impression of real happiness and shows this a lot in her speech, whereas her mother only shows it in her facial expression. It is in this happy and not-so tense atmosphere that the inspector arrives. Mrs Birling and Sheila are in the drawing room, whereas the gentlemen are still drinking whisky and smoking cigar. This also shows the separation between not only class, but also sex in the year it is set in. Gerald and Mr Birling welcome him and are the first to be told about Eva Smiths suicide. After Mr Birling realises his involvement with the suicide and has owned up to what he was to do with it Sheila bursts into the room, without realising the inspector is present. Mr Birling therefore tries to keep her out of the situation as she is only young. So again, this is showing another separation, this time with age. But when she finds out she is very distressed. And starts to ask many questions about her, and why the incident has come about. Sheila discovers her fathers involvement with the death of the girl and becomes even more upset at it. The inspector moves on then to the involvement of Sheila herself. She is told that the girl got taken on at MIllwards, but was then let go as a customer complained. ...read more.


However as much as she tries to show her elder relatives the importance in this, Mrs Birling especially finds it impossible to see. This shows how even though the younger generations had a lot of new views and knowledge, the elders refused to accept the lesson as useful and meaningful. At the very end of the play there is a dramatic twist when they find out that there had actually been a death after the incident had happened. Showing that before when all these guilty feelings concluded to mean nothing, members of the family thought nothing of it and ignored the fact that even though there actions had lead to nothing, they were still wrong. But now that something happened, everything changed and Mrs Birling's behaviour returned to how it was before. In this play we see J B Priestley's great ability to create reality and then almost immediately strip it right away. As here he starts with a simple family gathering and throughout the play gradually strips it down and down, until we are left with a very unrealistic ending. However, even though it is not very believable it has definitely got a useful message. Priestly aims to show that it shouldn't matter what 'rank' of society you are classed into, we should help each other and look out for one another. In this he uses the inspector as the social conscience and hopes that his very powerful play will show how everything changes once mindless actions are given a dramatic effect. Jessica King 10G ...read more.

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