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By Analysing the different reactions of the characters to the inspector's visit, discuss who or what he might be, and what aspects of society Priestley is inviting his audience to question

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By Analysing the different reactions of the characters to the inspector's visit, discuss who or what he might be, and what aspects of society Priestley is inviting his audience to question 'An inspector calls' is an interpretation of J.B. Priestley view of the British people in the 1940s although the play was set in 1912.The play opens with the Birling family and their guest Gerald Croft at the dining table. Then Edna the maid told the family that 'an Inspector's called'. From this the audience may think that this may be a crime play. However this is a play about moral, social issues, and how people think in the 1940's. Priestley uses dramatic irony through characters such as Mr. Birling who thinks that the 'titanic' is 'unsinkable' and that 'there isn't a chance of war'. He also shows how the reactions of the characters change while the Inspector is there. From the beginning Priestley shows that the Birlings are not as perfect as they seem to be. He uses the inspector as an omniscient person who waits systematically to say the right thing. Inspector Goole is taken to be central in the play. He is very commanding and authoritative. ...read more.


'Mother - I begged you and begged you to stop -' This shows how she knew about Eric being the father of Eva Smith's child and she tried to stop her brother getting into this. After the Inspector's visit they also show that their relationship has strengthened. Usually Eric and Sheila bicker a lot and disagree. But while their parents were being heartless Eric had to 'agree with Sheila' because this was telling them how 'ashamed they were of their parents. This shows how their brother- sister relationship has become stronger and that they can trust one another more. Priestley shows how brothers and sister can bicker and fight and not get on as a whole but they will always love one another no matter what. Eric had been treated like a little boy by his parents all his life, but when his parents find out the things he had been hiding i.e. he 'stole money' and he also 'made love'. This came to a surprise to Mrs. Birling since she did not expect this from her son. Eric claimed to be 'old enough to be married' which is true. However his father doesn't 'want any of that talk from' him. ...read more.


This shows that Gerald doesn't care a lot about 'Daisy Renton' who he had an affair with. After Gerald finds out that it was a 'hoax' he loses care about what he was questioned about. While Gerald was being questioned about 'Daisy Renton' he was really co-operative even though it was in a bad situation. When Gerald is asked questions he doesn't lie, instead he said the truth immediately. Even in front of his fianc�e Sheila which could have been really frustrating since he told the truth that 'he did see a good deal of' Daisy Renton. Although his deeds were very dirty, he owned up and completely unearthed the whole story to the Inspector. Having analysed the different reactions of the characters to the Inspector's visit, I think that Priestley was trying to show that relations can get stronger or weaker. He also shows that the Inspector punishes them all on a moral basis. He didn't punish them physically but did so mentally. I believe that those who read it or watch it in the twenty- first century would not gain as much from the story in regards to the moral teachings because most have now accepted the advantages of Socialism over Capitalism and so do not have as much to learn on the arguments of this issue as the audiences of 1947. Shehzad Rahman 10H 2/4/2008 1 of 8 ...read more.

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