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inspector calls

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AN INSPECTOR CALLS J.B. Priestley wrote the play "An Inspector Calls" in 1945 and set it in 1912. Both dates are relevant because he wrote his play in a world emerging from the Second World War. Priestley uses his play to try and show people that a sense of community in 1912 was non-existent and that the world needs to change rather than return to the arrogant society that existed in England. The play was aimed to make an impact on the rich who, at the time of the play were extremely socially irresponsible. The writer J.B Priestley believed that the rich should be more socially responsible by using their role of power to treat the workers as genuine people and pay them a fair wage. He wrote the play to illustrate how even the rich can adjust their actions and become more socially responsible. In his play, Priestley's message was that we could not go on being self obsessed and that we had to change our political views. He uses the Birling family as an example of the rich family that was common amongst the higher classes in 1912 who had no cares for other people and he showed the uneasy cover-up put on by the Birling family to cover up their real flaws and how they have treated those whom they consider to be lower class. ...read more.


This is confirmed when the Inspector appears and the lighting changes to a "brighter and harder light" where it gives the impression of exposure and the revelation of truth. The stage directions show how imperative he is to make the rich comprehend what their actions have leaded to. "The Inspector need not be a big man but he creates an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness". The stage directions explain it all he's here to do his duty and get his story out of the rich. He obviously has no clear class but there is definitely something about him, possibly a supernatural side to him. How does he have all this knowledge about the Birlings and Gerald's past? The Inspector wants the rich to realise what they have done by making Eva's death sound deeply painful. He says "She was in great agony". This shows how intense the pain was. He also says "A chain of events". The word chain illustrates all the actions driving her to death. The inspector is definitely not intimidated by the rich and speaks his mind. He points out to the Birlings that they all behaved selfishly and incredibly irresponsibly and because of them Eva committed suicide. Another reason why the audience don't like Mr Birling is because he is a prosperous factory owner, not the social equal of his wife. ...read more.


She believes Eva was a true person and not just a worker as she says to her father. "These girls aren't cheap labour they're people". She's clearly showing that Eva was more than just a worker who should be treated with respect. She can't get beyond the fact that she helped kill Eva. "I can't help thinking about this girl destroying herself so horribly". Sheila as a character has definitely changed and regrets her actions. She seems to be awfully distressed when she talks and won't be shushed by Gerald. When she and Eric are in charge of the business in the future there will definitely be some strong changes. The message Priestly is trying to send across in An Inspector Calls, is that all humans are equal. Priestley shows the audience how not to live their lives, using dramatic devices to demonstrate this. He makes the audience contemplate over the fact that they are actually "members of one body" and that they are all "responsible for one another". An Inspector Calls is very relevant today's society where people still do need to work together and help others in need. J.B. Priestley effectively uses many dramatic devices in An Inspector Calls, such as symbolism and timings. He applies them in order to expose his political views, using the upper class After J.B Priestley wrote this play I strongly believe the rich would be more careful about their actions and become more socially responsible just as Priestley wanted. He wanted the people to be treated fairly, no matter what your class was. ...read more.

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Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. How does Priestley create drama and convey his concerns in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    tell us that the lighting has changed and everything is more hard and bright. It is a very dramatic moment when the Inspector enters; the lighting is used to suggest this. Priestley says that he gives an "impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness".


    She is very much aware of all the differences between the socials classes and wants everything to stay that way. She is irritated when Mr Birling makes the social blunder of praising their own cook in front of Gerald and later on in the play is extremely flippant of Eva Smith.

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