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

GCSE: J.B. Priestley

Browse by

Currently browsing by:

Meet our team of inspirational teachers

find out about the team

Get help from 80+ teachers and hundreds of thousands of student written documents

John Boynton Priestley's biography

  1. 1 He was born in Yorkshire in 1894. He left school at sixteen because he believed that the world outside the classroom would help him become a writer. He said that it was the years 1911-14 ‘that set their stamp upon me’.
  2. 2 When World War One broke out in 1914, Priestley joined the infantry and by the time he left the army in 1919, he had seen active front-line service and narrowly escaped being killed. These experiences were to influence his future writing.
  3. 3 When he left the army he went to Cambridge University and although he finished his degree, he did not like academia and went to London to work as a freelance writer.
  4. 4 He soon became a successful writer of essays and novels and in 1932 he wrote his first play Dangerous Corner to prove that he could adapt his style for the stage. He soon established himself as a leading figure in the London theatre.
  5. 5 When World War Two broke out in 1939 Priestley continued to write his plays, while also writing and broadcasting on BBC radio. During this time he was producing his best work and wrote An Inspector Calls (1945) about the effects of an individual’s actions and the consequences of those actions.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 21
  1. Character analysis of Eric Birling

    He finds the things his family say funny, even if there is no joke. He laughs aloud when the conversation turns to Gerald and his ?work?. This indicates that he is aware of Gerald?s philandering. He is quite naive, in no way as worldly or as cunning as Gerald Croft. He may be jealous of the fact that Mr Birling seems to be much more interested in Gerald than his own son. There is another awkward moment when Gerald, Birling and Eric are chatting about women's love of clothes before the Inspector arrives.

    • Word count: 1687
  2. How is social responsibility presented in each character of "An Inspector Calls"?

    Priestly presents Mr Birling like this so the audience realises the older generation are stuck in their ways and can?t accept responsibility for their actions, because in their view they are always right. Priestly presents Mrs Birling in a similar way, Mrs Birling doesn?t accept responsibility because she doesn?t like the lower class and believes it is there fault they are in the situations they get into, for example she say?s ?girls of that class? which shows she is like her husband and won?t have anything to do with accepting responsibility or the lower class.

    • Word count: 1121
  3. How does Priestley express ideas about Sybil Birling in 'An Inspector Calls'

    This may also be a sign of subtext that Mrs. Birling also might be dissatisfied with the social gap between her and husband. This could perhaps be a subtler view of Priestley?s about the lack of cohesiveness between classes in society. Relationship with Sheila Despite her daughter being a grown woman who is in the process of marrying, Mrs Birling is of the view that Sheila is incapable of speaking for herself. When Sheila ?(half serious, half playful)? criticises Gerald for ?not coming near me last summer? Mrs Birling doesn?t pick up on the ?playful? nature of her daughter?s remarks

    • Word count: 1080
  4. Examine the character of Sheila in "An Inspector Calls".

    Furthermore, most of the audience are socialists due to the elections in 1945 being won by the labour party by a majority vote and due to the fact that J B Priestley was a socialist meaning that his audience were also socialists, therefore, their ideologies are very similar to that of Sheila causing them to develop a liking for her. The dramatist presents Sheila as shifting towards the Inspector because the audience respect him due to their similar beliefs of socialism so when Sheila is presented as similar to him they develop a further liking towards her.

    • Word count: 1575

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • To what extent is each character responsible for Eva's death?

    "In conclusion the inspector was a very good role model not just for the audience, but also for the Birling children. Mr Birling was the most responsible for Eva's death as he harmed her first. There were two people that learnt a lot, they were Sheila and Eric Birling. This is because they were able to communicate with the inspector and understand what he said, the inspector may make them change in the future as they are both able to make up their own minds and understand when they have made mistakes. They try to help their parents understand what they have done to Eva and how they caused her to commit suicide. Sheila and Eric will be able to learn from their parent's mistakes, as they are the younger generation. 4"

  • An Inspector Calls Essay - To what extent can the tragedy of Eva Smith be blamed on the society in which she lived.

    "In conclusion to the death of Eva Smith, I don't believe you can blame any of the Birlings as such, as it was also related to social activities that took place in such a short time of Eva's life. If all the strife she went through didn't happen, then I don't believe that Eva smith would have killed herself. So in conclusion, Eva smith's death has to be blamed on a chain of events that unfortunately and unthinkingly happened at the wrong time of her life."

  • Compare and contrast the characters of Mr. Birling and inspector Goole. How does Priestley use dramatic devices to help shape audiences response to view represented in the play.

    "In conclusion Birling and the Inspector are two opposite characters priestley used birling and his views as the audience and the inspector as himself hoping he could change their views as it would help society. Priestly was getting across to the audience the message that, at the end of the day everyone's got to help with society or else all of us will die. Therefore the message is still relevant today "we do not live alone"."

Marked by a teacher

This document has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the document.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the document page.

Peer reviewed

This document has been reviewed by one of our specialist student document reviewing squad. Read the full review under the document preview on this page.