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How through the character of the Inspector does Priestley convey his socialist beliefs to the audience?

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How through the character of the Inspector does Priestley convey his socialist beliefs to the audience? "No man is an island, entire of itself. Everyman is a piece of the continent a part of the main * * * Any mans death diminishes me for I am involved in man kind. Therefore do not send to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee." John Donne (1627) This piece of writing means that we are all linked. No man can stand alone. Everybody needs everybody else for help, and if one person dies over the other side of the world it is still very important. This piece of writing is very humanistic. The Inspector had a very socialist views, he was the complete opposite to Mr Birling who was conservative. The Inspector made his views clear in the play, when Mr Birling tells the Inspector that he refused to pay the workers 25 shillings a week. The Inspector asks "why?" this gives us good reason to believe he wanted fairer pay for people and better basic lives. I think Priestley chose this message to be the theme of the play because he wanted to teach his audience about socialism and the dangers of cutting yourself of from the world just because of your class. ...read more.


The Inspector looks at the person he is talking to hard before he speaks to them, which I do not believe is normal for a police officer. The Inspector also is following a line of inquiry where no court in the world would convict the Birlings but he doesn't want the Birlings to go to prison he just wants them to face their culpability over Eva Smith's death, to become better people and look after those around them. The Inspectors first line "Mr Birling?" is a rhetorical question, he already knows the answer to this. He never shows any identification to prove who he is and that he is a police officer. He has no assistant with him to help take notes, police officers generally work in twos. He also never asks a question that he doesn't already no the answer to, but he never takes, or looks at, any notes. On page eleven the Inspector says "two hours ago a girl died" this is very peculiar because the Inspector would have had to go to at least three different places, file a report, search Eva Smiths apartment, read all of Eva Smith's diary and memorise it then go to the Birlings house, in only two house that's nearly impossible. ...read more.


He sticks up for the workers and Eric especially over the workers pay. When the Inspection is over the Inspector appears to have achieved his goal, to change the Birlings for the better and open their eyes to society and how important it is. When the inspector says "fire blood and anguish" Priestley is referring to the first and Second World War where millions of people were tortured, murdered or severely disabled both mentally and physically. I have already mentioned the elder Birlings, Mr Birling, Mrs Birling and also Gerald all revert back to their old beliefs where as Sheila and Eric both change their beliefs quite radically. I think Priestley changes the younger generation because he believed that things would be better in the future and as the younger generation symbolises the future so if they change so will the future. I think Priestley conveys his socialist views to the audience through the character of the Inspector very cleverly he does not tell them how to think, but he show them a new way of thinking. I thing John Donne's words are very inspiring and may have inspired Priestley quite a lot and probably helped him become a better person and a socialist " no man is an island" is a good message, and more people should try and remember it. ...read more.

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