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How do J B Priestley's dramatic methods explain the historical and social content of the play 'An Inspector Calls' in the opening scenes?

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Introduction

How do J B Priestley's dramatic methods explain the historical and social content of the play 'An Inspector Calls' in the opening scenes? The inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' by J B Priestley's writes that the inspector wants to teach the Birling family, a moral. It is to show the family about the consequences of pregnancy, abortion and their responsibilities in theses situations. In Sybil Birlings situation, it is of her responsibility to the community. Priestley deliberately sets his play in 1912, because the date represented a period when all was very different from the time he was writing in 1945. In 1912, harsh class and gender boundaries seemed to ensure that nothing could or would change, but as we know most of these boundaries had been broken by 1945. i think that Priestley wanted to make the most of these changes. ...read more.

Middle

This is an outside character, which we later find out to be a fake, comes in and ruins the mood like an intruder. The significance of the doorbell is that it happens during Mr Birling's speech, because it puts across to the audience the idea that Mr Birling is wrong in what he is saying. For example, he says, "The titanic is unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable" and that "The Germans don't want a war nobody wants a war". All these things tell us about his ignorant ideas about society, as in reality we know that these things he said were not true. The Titanic sunk on its maiden voyage and world war one broke out 2 years after the play was set. This is a reason why when I read the play I regard Mr Birling as someone foolish. ...read more.

Conclusion

The main reason for her change in attitude I think is that she has an open mind and is willing to listen to what people have to say. More importantly, she tries to improve the bad aspects of her personality. She admits "I behaved badly too. I know I did. I'm ashamed of it". It is obvious that she wants to change because she keeps saying, "You're pretending everything's just as it was before" and she does not want it to be that way. The only other person to share her attitude is Eric. I think that she will try to improve her family's relationship and help people in need, treating everybody with the same respect. This is very different in Mrs Birlings mind as she is more callous than her husband. She is fully aware of her social status, and uses this to gain whatever she wants. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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