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I am going to investigate what J.B.Priestley's main aim is in the play

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I am going to investigate what J.B.Priestley's main aim is in the play "An Inspector Calls." I am going to find out how he attempts to achieve this and investigate his use of characters and theatrical devices as well as themes. Background. An Inspector Calls was written in 1945 after the Second World War finished, J.B Priestley wrote it in one week. This showed that he was urgent to get his message heard. The play explores the image of time, and how someone's actions can affect someone else's life in the future. Priestley hoped his play would crate the effect of difficult unity amongst the public giving people the chance to look back on what had occurred and learn from it. For example, two world wars, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the titanic and not just carry on life in the same way as before, otherwise everything that had been fought for would have been worthless. In the story an Inspector visits a wealthy and posh family, the Birling's in the Edwardian era. The family were celebrating Sheila Birling's engagement to Gerald Croft, who is also there, when the Inspector arrives telling them that a young girl called Eva Smith had committed suicide. At first they all denied that they knew Eva, but as the inspector starts to question them he manages to show that they all played a party in Eva's death. ...read more.


He didn't care about Eva's death and wouldn't take any blame for it; he showed this by blaming Eva for it herself. He wasn't even interested about her death when the Inspector mentioned it, "Yes. Horrid business. But I don't understand why you should come here" Mr Birling doesn't even stop for a second to see if he could help in anyway dealing with Eva's death. During Mr Birling�s speech on how we should look after each other, the doorbell rang; the atmosphere changed the moment the Inspector entered the scene. The reader might have been wondering, who was at the door at this time. Their thoughts on the family may now change when the Inspector comes in because usually it means that something might happen. The family began to wonder who this new inspector was and why he was there at that time. Dramatic twists are used well in this play with Mr Birling�s thoughts of the war and the Titanic, "The Titanic she sails next week-forty six thousand tons-New York in five days and every luxury-and unsinkable", "Germans don't want war. Nobody wants war except some half-civilized folks in the Balkans. And why? There's too much at stake these days. Everything to lose and nothing to gain by war" The play was set before the First World War (WWI) ...read more.


We should treat everyone the same however poor or rich they are. This would also make the reader feel frustrated towards Mrs Birling; they would get the idea that she was a selfish and snobby woman. This is probably what Priestley had wanted because he wanted Mrs Birling's character to make the reader feel no compassion for her. After the Inspector left the scene and the reader really began to see the characters for their real individual selves. When they try and forget about what had just gone on. The only person who was affected was Sheila the rest of them were just thinking about themselves and how they would get out of this mess. Birling "Yes and you don't realize yet all you've done. Most of this is bound to come out. There'll be a public scandal. Throughout the play the Birlings have showed me their good side and their weak side I think that this play would have made a big impact on its reader because the message was quite intense because the country had just had the Second World War. Conclusion I think that J.B.Priestley succeeded because when I read the story I could understand what Priestley was trying to tell me about why the Inspector was there. He gave quite a few hints in the story for example when the Inspector left he said "We are members of one body, we are responsible for each other". ...read more.

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