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GCSE English- J.B Priestley's "An Inspector Calls"

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Introduction

English coursework-'An Inspector Calls' J.B Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' is a play described as a murder mystery. But underneath it has a strong political message. He did this because more people would want to watch a murder mystery than a political play. Agatha Christies 'Mousetrap' is the longest running murder mystery ever, it is still being showed. This shows that murder mysteries are extremely popular. Priestley was influenced by G.B Shaw- a significant playwright who was also a socialist. In 1912 the titanic sank, this represents capitalism- it is dying and also sinking. In 1912 England was a mainly capitalist country. In 1945 after WW2, the country was in chaos. Different classes were mixing together, these are socialist views. Priestley's message to the public was to become socialists. J.B Priestley feels passionately towards socialism but is strongly against capitalism. He shows his beliefs when he says: "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish." ...read more.

Middle

There is a strong contrast between Sheila and Mr Birling because his reaction was: "yes yes horrid business. But I don't understand why you should come here. Inspector?" Mr Birling doesn't care about the girl or what happened to her. Mr Birling is being impatient and wants to rush it so his reputation doesn't get damaged. He only cares about his status. Mr Birling's views are capitalist so Priestley wants to make him look like a fool. He does this by making him look ignorant when he says: "the Germans don't want war." The audience expects Sheila to behave in the same way as her father, selfishly. But she doesn't, she becomes more mature and caring. She almost acts as if she was Eva's friend. She also stands up to her father when she says: "These people aren't cheap labour. Their people" These are socialist views so this has also made Mr Birling look ignorant. Sheila wants to protect the rights of others. The Inspector affects one character more than the others, Sheila in act 2. The Inspector affects her so much that she starts to become like him. ...read more.

Conclusion

She has realised that her parents are arrogant and doesn't want to associate herself with them. She carries on saying: "Nothing to be sorry for, nothing to learn." Sheila is being sarcastic, Priestley's message. His message was that if you don't care about something, you won't learn anything. This makes the audience have respect for them both. Sheila and Eric have different reasons to admit responsibility. Sheila only had Eva sacked, but Eric had a baby with her, he feels more responsible than anyone else because of this. The audience feels respect for Eric and Sheila for both admitting responsibility but they feel anger, pity for being so ignorant, and hatred for both Mr and Mrs Birling. But they do not know if the inspector is real or not. The audience is confused by this and therefore can't judge him. To conclude, the inspector has affected Sheila so much that she has become a socialist and has realised that her parents are arrogant. This has helped Priestley get his message across because he has shown that capitalists are ignorant, self centred and care more about their status than their family. But it has also shown that capitalists can change, but only in extreme circumstances. Tom sargent 10GPR 1 ...read more.

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