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how does priestley convey a powerful social message and provide first class entertainment in An Inspector Calls?

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How does Priestly convey a powerful social message and provide his audience with first class entertainment in An Inspector Calls? Zoe Harris 10E In this essay I will be writing about how J.B Priestly conveys a powerful social message to his audience in An Inspector Calls. It was written in 1945 and was first produced in 1946, but J.B Priestly set the play in 1912. The reason why Priestly set it in 1912 is that it fits in with the message of the play which is the Inspectors viewpoint on life. The Inspectors speech near the end of the play is about "If men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire, blood and anguish." He is actually talking about world war 1 . He is saying that unless start to lean our lesson from World War 1, then our actions will lead to World War 2. Also before the first World War there were very strict class devisions, and the Birling's represent the middle to upper classes. But this all started to change with the onset of the first World War. The Birling family is built on hypocrisy: everyone is hiding something. The relationships in the play come crumbling down when the inspector forces the characters to tell the truth. ...read more.


Birling and find them repulsive so conclusively find their views and ideas repulsive as well, so the audience gets to dislike them and look for a character they can identify with and share the same views with. So the audience start to agree with the views of the Inspector. J.B Priestly wants the audience to feel emotions towards his point of view but you still can't identify with him. Eric is the child of the family, described as "not quite at ease, half-shy, half-assertive". He does not have a very good relationship with his father. He begins the play happy, enjoying the family celebration although a bit drunk, Gerald says "I have gathered that he does drink pretty hard." . At the end of the play he decides to give up drinking as he thinks it has led to the death of Eva Smith. As well as Sheila, Eric is also sympathetic towards Eva Smith and said that he is "ashamed" of his parents, especially his mother. So when he hears how his father sacked Eva Smith, he supports the worker's cause, like Sheila. "Why shouldn't they try for higher wages?" he says. The Inspector definately made his presence felt when he first comes into the house of Mr and Mrs. ...read more.


The audience is interested in how each character reacts to their part of her suicide. The way the Inspector questions the characters keeps the audience in suspense wondering who had the biggest part in Eva's suicide. Now and then J.B Priestly slips in clues indicating that another member of the Birling family was also involved with Eva Smith, this makes the audience curious and eager to find out about what actually happened between Eva Smith and the next character to be investigated because they all seem to be entangled in it somehow. For example Mrs. Birling makes her husband remember that he is involved in the tragedy as well "Please remember that before you start accusing me of anything again that it wasn't I who had turned her out of employment-which probably began it all." Just as one scene is about to finish J.B Priestly slips in the involvement of another character in Eva's suicide, this gives even more tension. The ending leaves the audience on a cliff-hanger. Near the end the Birling's thought they were off the hook, when they realise that the Inspector wasn't real and that no girl had died in the infirmary. This releases some of the tension - but the final telephone call, saying that a real inspector is on his way to ask them questions about the suicide of a young girl, this suddenly restores the tension very dramatically. It is an unexpected final twist. ...read more.

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