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How Far Is 'An Inspector Calls' A Vehicle For Preistley's Socialist Ideas? What Is The Play's Message?

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Coursework: How Far Is 'An Inspector Calls' A Vehicle For Preistley's Socialist Ideas? What Is The Play's Message? 'An Inspector Calls' is, in many ways, a vehicle used by Priestley to spread and promote his socialist views. By utilising the characters' various dispositions and juxtaposing them against one and other, he highlights his message and creates a powerful dramatic piece. By employing such techniques as dramatic irony, hindsight and a clever setting, Priestley sends his eye-opening message and keeps both reader and audience interested through the stunning revelations at the end of each act. The play is about an upper-middle class family that is visited by an inspector regarding the suicide of a young woman by the name of Eva Smith. The inspector arrives in the middle of a celebration of the daughter (Sheila) and her engagement to the wealthy Gerald Croft. With the minimum of questioning, the family reveals many things about themselves that links them all to the death. When the inspector leaves, the family discover he wasn't a real police inspector at all and are relieved (save Sheila and Eric) to find out from the infirmary, that there has been no suicide. Shortly after this, the police call and tell them there has been a suicide and police inspector will be calling to discuss the matter. The plot thickens act by act and the unbelievable climax at the end of each one urges reader to keep reading and audience to keep watching. ...read more.


Miners to postmen, nurses to factory labourers; all of them felt they were being mistreated. In this sense, perhaps Eva is symbolic of the problems of the times - all the terrible fates that were big issues happen to her. There were many strikes at the time; most every type of worker went on strike at some point. There were great debates and much arguing over wages, working conditions, treatment of workers (mostly over the oppressive standards held by factory owners) and even more. One of the most consequential up-heaves of the period was the women's rights movement. Many women were unhappy with their working conditions, treatment and especially their payment. Woman got paid extremely little; sometimes half of what men could get paid. There were many strikes and arguments about this. This topic is heavily featured in the play, as the reason Mr. Birling fired Eva Smith. Priestley's major concerns were with inequality, as such, class division would have been (in his opinion) unacceptable, This idea is conveyed as selfish and greedy in the play to portray how awful it is for people to look down on others due to their social status. Another subject touched upon a lot in the play is the division between classes. There are an incredible number of things said by both. Mr. And Mrs. Birling about this. 'As if a girl of that sort would ever refuse money!' Mrs. Birling said this. She makes a lot more references to the class division than Mr. ...read more.


calling to discuss the real suicide of a young girl, who really did drink disinfectant, like the late Eva Smith (if she was indeed real) did. Is it possible, that if the Birlings and Croft had realised their mistakes and had learned from them (as Sheila and Eric did), they would never have received that final phone call. It may all have been a test. This powerful ending, using its dramatic twist, emphasises the play's message. It does so by, when the Birlings thought they were free of blame and repercussions, introducing the dreadful consequences that they are always consequences and that they cannot be avoided, while also telling them to make sure that there are only good repercussions. Overall, the play sends a powerful message out to the audience. It tells us of the awful things that capitalism promotes and how it divides the world. We are given a powerful and worrying incite to the future and we realise that we need to help our younger generation to make the world a better place. The Inspector makes us realise that we desperately need to work together with each other, help each other and looking out for one and other. We are constantly reminded of this throughout the play in various speeches made by a number of people. The most powerful of which, that really commands attention and action, is the Inspectors final speech. 'And I tell you that the time will come soon when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire, blood and anguish.' ...read more.

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