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One of the aims of JB Priestley's play is to teach us something about society. By referring to the text, what lessons do you think the play contains?

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Introduction

Essay question: One of the aims of JB Priestley's play is to teach us something about society. By referring to the text, what lessons do you think the play contains? J.B. Priestley's play, "An Inspector Calls" aims to teach us many valuable ideas about society. Through the inspector's confrontations with the Birling family, we are brought to light with lessons such as the consequences of our actions, responsibilities in society and the importance of having an open mind. One of the most evident lessons in the play is J.B. Priestley's concern with the consequences our actions bring upon other people. Throughout the inspector's interrogations of the Birling family, each member discovers a deed they committed which, although at the time seemed no big deal, lead to an ultimate, tragic outcome. One example of this is when Sheila says "yes, but it didn't seem to be anything very terrible at the time. Don't you understand? And if I could help her now, I would-." But it was too late. Sheila, in a position of influence, used her power to do something which seemed natural to her at the time. ...read more.

Middle

They believe it is right that the poor should be subjected to their sufferings because of their low status. But the inspector teaches them otherwise. On parting, he leaves this final, lingering message, " We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish." The inspector believes that in a good, working society, one cannot only think about themselves. A society is not complete if the rich is left in their indulgences and turn a blind eye to the poverty around them. It is everyone's responsibility to support the poor and treat them with respect and as equals. We are all human beings, living in the one world. We all have the same common hopes and are all entitled to the basic human dignities of love, hope and compassion from our fellow members in society. It is unjustified to think that because some people have more materialistic goods, the Birlings can treat the Eva Smiths like props in a play, but where would people like Birling be without Eva Smith? ...read more.

Conclusion

It is this open-mindedness and this courage to break out from the cocoon of tradition, that brings Sheila and Eric closer to us. This clearly teaches us to judge everything before simply accepting them and that people who think they know the world are not always right. As times change, it is only natural that the way we perceive the world should change. We cannot be content to live in the past but accept new ideas, values and ways as we they confront us and step into the future. It is most important that we as individuals should judge circumstances and events before acceptance or approval. We must not be afraid to break away from tradition or majority belief because a few individuals can leave a lasting impact on society. It is wrong to live in ignorance rather than seeking the truth. J.B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls" really teaches us so much about the society we live in. It clearly makes us realise the consequences our actions bring on others, the responsibilities we have to those less fortunate and we should live with open-mindedness, rather than accepting all that we are told. What an insight into justice and high morals this play bring us. Amy Shi 8C14 Mrs Hamilton Inspector Calls Essay 1 ...read more.

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