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In What Ways is "An Inspector Calls" a Left Wing Play?

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In What Ways is "An Inspector Calls" a Left Wing Play? Although this play was set in the year nineteen twelve, it was first performed in nineteen forty-five. This would enable the viewers to recognise foolish predictions made by characters in the play. When Birling says the Titanic is "Unsinkable" and that there is "No chance of war", the audience would automatically recognise him as a character that has an overly confident view of the world. The play represents left wing views from The Inspector. Before he leaves in the end of Act Three, he says: "We are all members of one body. We are not alone. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish." For those who had just experienced the Second World War and some, who had lived through the First World War, they would be emotionally struck by these words. The audience can infer from these words that The Inspector is wise. It is unsurprising that the play was first performed in Moscow, as Priestley wanted to show the play to those with left wing views before showing it to those with mixed political views. Goole is a strange name for an inspector as the name represents a spirit or phantom. ...read more.


Gerald Croft is dishonest and is accused of taking advantage of those less fortunate than himself. Gerald, who is of the aristocracy, certainly has a lot going for him. He is a single, handsome, wealthy man who has great potential. Many of these qualities lead him to be slightly conceited, think he is better than most people and take advantage of them. Gerald has not been honest with Sheila but thinks he can shake off the situation by saying, "All right. I knew her. Lets leave it at that". Gerald took advantage of Eva Smith (or of Daisy Renton as he knew her). Since he admits that he "Didn't feel about her as she felt about me" but did enjoy being her "Fairy prince" for a while. Once the excitement wore off he dumped her and left her with nothing again. The play gives the impression that the younger generation are capable of redemption. The younger generation i.e. Eric and Sheila admit their wrongdoing almost at once. The Inspector interrogates them until they are ready to face their responsibilities. Eric recognises that he has done wrong. When he stole money he realised that "Its not the money that's important" but instead Eva's life was. No matter how much wrong he did, he does at least acknowledge it. He takes responsibility for it: "The fact remains, I did what I did." ...read more.


The vilification of Birling at this point confirms Priestley's left wing bias. The Inspectors superior knowledge of events simply means that he can see the situation of Eva Smith that Gerald and the Birling family cannot. As The Inspector holds a picture of Eva Smith and has details about her life he seems to be able to know what the reactions and the answers of the Birlings and Gerald will be. When Sheila says, "We hardly ever told anything he didn't know" it seems to confirm that The Inspector is omniscient. When The Inspector questions the Birling Family and Gerald, it gives the Left Wing message of the play to the audience that everybody should look after each other. The message of the play: "Everyone should look after everyone else" will nowadays seem complex due to the twenty-first century being more of a secular society as opposed to nineteen-forty-five when there were more religious ethics after the war. As ethics are different in today's society, "responsibility for each other" seems like an overly simple theory to the vastly complex problem of the world. The Inspector, who is the main character of this play, demonstrates the left wing message of J.B Priestley. As The Inspector is used to represent Priestley's left-wing views and stereotypes the right-wing characters in the play, the play certainly seems to have a left wing bias. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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