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"How did the production convey J.B. Priestley's social message in 'An Inspector Calls' "?

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Introduction

GCSE ENGLISH - DRAMA COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT By Charlotte Holt "How did the production convey J.B. Priestley's social message in 'An Inspector Calls' "? The production of 'An Inspector Calls' showed what J.B. Priestley thought of British society. The play could be seen on two different levels. One level is the fairly straightforward idea of 'whodunnit', the mystery story approach. On a more significant level, the play can be seen as a criticism of the way society is organised. Priestly, being a socialist, believed in equal rights and opportunities for everyone. He disapproved of the British class system and wrote this play, along with many others, to try and get across his socialist message. The play was written and set at two different times. It was written in 1945 at the end of World War two, but it was set in 1912 in the Edwardian period, just before World War One. His reason for doing this was that in Edwardian times, if you were poor, there was no one in society to help you. No NHS, low life expectancy, no Social Services - if you lost your house or had problems with children there wasn't any help. Education was not available to the poor as they were needed by their parents to work, Trade Unions were in their infancy ...read more.

Middle

Sheila and Eric are stood on the other side showing they have learnt something and are sorry for what they've done. All the characters are dressed in dinner jackets and beautiful dresses at the beginning of the play, showing how wealthy they are. Mr. Birling, Eric and Gerald are all well dressed and well-groomed with neat, black dinner jackets and trousers. They have white shirts and bow ties and Gerald has a red rose in his left buttonhole and Mr. Birling has a gold pocket watch. Mrs. Birling wears a beautiful red dress with expensive black jewellery and her hair carefully tied up. Sheila wears a beautiful white dress with expensive jewellery and her hair tied up with fancy clips. The Inspector wears a grey trench coat, a black suit, waistcoat and tie, a pocket watch and is well groomed. Edna wears a black skirt and white pinafore with her hair tied back and a little white hat. All the men and women who appear on stage are wearing dark grubby clothes and head scarves. Sheila starts the play off in her pristine white dress and Eric in his smart suit, but throughout the play they get dirtier and dirtier showing sympathies moving towards the working class. ...read more.

Conclusion

Gerald feels bad about what happened to the girl, but he doesn't feel it is his fault she died, he just wishes he could have done more for her, "Though at least he had some affection for her and made her happy for a time." Mr. Birling knows what he has done but refuses to believe that he had anything to do with the death of this girl, "Well, don't tell me that's because I discharged her from my employment nearly two years ago." Mrs. Birling didn't even think she'd done anything wrong by not helping the girl out, "I'm very sorry. But I think she had only herself to blame." The most important message about class and society was in a dramatic moment when the house collapsed as though their lives collapsed and as though the class divide was collapsing. Unfortunately it put itself right by showing the Birlings' life returning to normal as they hadn't learnt anything. I think that J.B Priestley got his point across very well and very successfully. Although some of the points were harder to pick up than others because they were more well hidden. The message was still put across well and sympathy was evoked for the working class because the play brought to light just how badly they really were treated. (1,280 Words) ...read more.

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