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How does Priestley use his characters in "An Inspector Calls" to criticise the society in which it is based

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How does Priestley use his characters in "An Inspector Calls" to criticise the society in which it is based? J.B Priestley wrote 'An Inspector Calls' in 1945. However, the play was set in 1912. Priestley used this play to criticise the society in which it was based. The play focuses on the themes of lies, love, guilt, pride, responsibility and status. The characters are from a middle/high class family. The story was set in Brumley, an industrial city in the North Midlands. The story is based on a family who is celebrating Sheila's engagement to Gerald Croft, when inspector Goole arrives at the door and tells them about a girl's (Eva Smith) suicide. The inspector questions all the characters one by one, and it turns out that all the characters are involved in Eva Smith committing suicide, (more or less responsible for this sad death). Mr Birling (Arthur Birling) is a wealthy factory owner, who worries about the reputation he has and the only thing he wants in life is money and power! Nevertheless, he abuses his power to classes below him. Although he was powerful, he was arrogant, selfish, and disrespectful to everyone that is in the lower class than him. ...read more.


When the inspector questioned Sheila, she looked nervous and scared of what she had done. She is the type of daughter who is in the next generation, open-minded and suffers from jealousy (Sheila readiness to learn from her experience is in a great contrast to her parents). Gerald Croft is used as a tool that is characterised as wealthy, womaniser, and emotionless. He was involved in a role of Eva committing suicide. Inspector Goole questions Gerald; Gerald is shocked to what the inspector knows. Gerald had an affair with Eva Smith in March 1911. During the time when he was having an affair with Eva, he told Sheila that he was busy with business. This shows that Gerald lies and manipulates Sheila in such a disgraceful way. Gerald having an affair with Eva is not right because it can hurt her feelings, as he has no real commitment towards her passion. Gerald is intelligent, I know this because he does not love Sheila but wants to marry her due to all the money her family has and furthermore, he has no love for Eva as she has no money to give him in future relations. ...read more.


Mrs Birling thought Eva was lying about the situation she was in and that is why she refused to help her. J.B preistley uses Mrs Birling to show the audience that the society in which is was based in was careless and immature in treating other. In my opinion, I have realised women use to judge other people by their looks and did not have any evidence in order to help them or not. The writer wants the audience to be dissimilarity to the 20th century, so that life is fair and help will be provided by professional advisors when needed. In conclusion, J.B Priestley is trying to say to the modern readers that treat the nature to the opposite of how life was in the 20th century. Mostly he is trying to express comfort everyone the same, whether they are a different racist, age or poor or rich. Furthermore, Priestley wants the audience to know how loved ones were treated in the society in which is was based in and that in life you should love one person and not cheat and lie to them in such a way that could hurt the feelings. Finally, J.B Priestley wants the world to full of people that do not abuse anyone else and has respect to the environment and people they see. ...read more.

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