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How effectively does Priestly convey his message in An Inspector Calls?

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How effectively does Priestly convey his message in An Inspector Calls? An Inspector calls is a play written by J.B. Priestly, in 1946, although set in 1912, it is about a family called the Birlings. The Birlings are a wealthy family consisting of industrial Arthur Birling, his family, the fianc� Gerald Croft and an Inspector. It shows how the family each help to destroy a young woman's life-Eva Smith through their selfish and pompous attitudes which results in her death. The main character arguably is The Inspector, he makes the family reveal there own guilt whether they like it or not. The story is a thriller, but with a twist and a moral. The play is designed to convey the state of society as Priestly saw it. He clearly criticises pompousness and complacency. The message is given at the end of the play by the Inspector in direct opposition to a speech made at the start by Mr Birling. The message is that everybody needs to be concerned with everybody else and that we have all done things wrong in the past that we should consider and make a point to avoid in the future. ...read more.


He feels every person should help each other as he quotes, 'We are members of one body-We are responsible for each other'. The inspector cross examines each character in turn, with each of them he makes a point that they have acted selfishly and used Eva Smith the girl involved for their own purposes and they have not thought about the effect they have had on her life. The Inspector hovers over the characters acting much like their conscience, he is described as creating "an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness..." He speaks carefully and has a way of forcing the truth out of each character in question. While Arthur Birling is moved to anger by the Inspector, he is not affected by being confronted with the effects of his actions until the Inspector is about to leave. Sheila, Arthur Birling's daughter, however is moved to tears of shock and guilt, the Inspector has been successful in making her see the consequences of her actions. ...read more.


We see this when Eric confronts his parents; "Its what happened to the girl and what we all did to her that's important." This shows the effect that the inspector had on him. We also see the inspectors effect on Sheila as she corrects her father; "But these girls aren't cheap labour, they're people." Sheila is far wiser than any of them in knowing what the Inspector is and the fact he already knows everything, we see this by when she says: "You needn't give me any rope. (Inspector) No he's giving us rope-so we'll hang ourselves."(Sheila) This is suggesting that the Inspector is forcing them to confess, and she is right. The inspector brings the play to a close, summarising Priestley's message when he says 'We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other' exactly the opposite to what we are told to believe by Mr Birling, that everybody should look after themselves. Priestley conveyed his message well, making the audience feel what the characters are feeling and think about the situation of the play next to their own lives. Tim Jones 11N ?? ?? ?? ?? Tim Jones 11N English Coursework; Modern Play ...read more.

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