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Choose two characters from the play. With careful analysis of relevant sections of the play, show how Priestly wants us to react to them in different ways, and give reasons for these differences.

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Choose two characters from the play. With careful analysis of relevant sections of the play, show how Priestly wants us to react to them in different ways, and give reasons for these differences. An Inspector Calls was written in 1945 by JB Priestly. In this play Priestly portrays his views through his characters about socialists and capitalists. Two characters in the play that differ from one another are Sheila and Mr. Birling. I have chosen to write about these two as they are from different generations therefore their views and opinions will differ. They both react and respond differently to the inspector and they are affected in different ways. In the opening scene of An Inspector Calls, Priestly builds our understanding of the two characters through many techniques. Firstly, our understanding of the characters is through the stage directions. At the dining table, Mr. Birling is seated at the head of the table 'Arthur Birling at one end'. This illustrates his importance to the family and shows that he is the 'head' of the house. Sheila is however, sitting on the side of the table. This shows that her status isn't as high as Mr. Birling. It may also show that Mr. Birling has control over what she does. In the beginning of the play, Mr. ...read more.


Priestly influences the audience's thoughts about the characters in the play. When the inspector comes, a lot of information is brought up and the truth is revealed. From this, we find out how badly Eva Smith was treated in the shop. This makes us change our views on the way in which we look at Sheila as she goes form being a polite young woman to someone who's very jealous. The thoughts about Sheila change again, when we find out that she is party responsible for Eva Smith's death. She says, 'So I'm really responsible?' This is followed y the line, 'No, not really. It was my own fault.' As the character is saying that she is responsible herself, this is a technique uses to manipulate the audiences thoughts as they would now start to agree with Sheila. Our views are also changed on her as Priestly has carefully chosen what he wants Sheila to say. He gives her lines which will get the audience thinking and make them feel sorry for her, removing the guilt of her shoulders. This is shown in her lines saying 'It can't be any worse for me than it has been. And it might be better.' On the other hand, priestly wants us to react differently to the way in which Mr. ...read more.


This is changed when Sheila then shares the same thoughts as Priestley. Priestley uses this character in the play to let his own thoughts can be revealed to the audience. She believes that everyone is part of the same community, therefore everyone should work together. She doesn't believe that anyone should have a higher status than anyone else; she feels that everyone deserves equal rights. In comparison, Mr. Birling is the epitome of capitalism. He believes that there shouldn't be equality as some people are much better than others. He seems to care a lot about his status and believes he should get more money for what he does. He also feels that he deserves more than others. At the end of the play, the characters find out about the inspector coming to them has all been a hoax. The two characters I have chosen; react to this different ways. Sheila has learnt form what has happened and decides she's going to change. She says, 'Everything we said happened had really happened. If it didn't end tragically, then that's lucky for us. But it might have done.' She feels relieved but at the same time she feels guilty as what she did to the girl, could have killed her. To make her maturity stand out, Priestley makes Mr. Birling's character very contradictory to Sheila's. In conclusion, Priestley uses many techniques to change our minds about the different characters. ...read more.

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