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Show how J.B Priestley demonstrates his political views through ‘An Inspector Calls’. You need to establish the social/historical background of the characters in the play in order to do this.

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Introduction

Adam Greenfield 10E 'An Inspector Calls Essay' Question - Show how J.B Priestley demonstrates his political views through 'An Inspector Calls'. You need to establish the social/historical background of the characters in the play in order to do this. In the essay on the play 'An Inspector Calls' written by J.B Priestley I will attempt to explain how he uses the play to demonstrate his political views. To do this I will look at history from society and the history of the characters. First of all I will look at how he acquired his political beliefs. John Priestley was born on September 13th 1894. He grew up into a family and a wider group of friends who enjoyed the arts. As he grew up he was caught up in in-depth debates with his friends. His friends and family all discussed politics from a socialist point of view; this influenced his younger political life. He expresses these ideas and beliefs in the play he wrote 'An Inspector Calls'. In the play his socialist ideas are expressed through the characters and by exploiting some techniques and devices. ...read more.

Middle

The class system in 1944 was different in some respects to the one of 1912; these differences were the introduction of middle class, instead of having two classes; the upper and working class. In the play the Birling's played an average upper class family in the 1900's. They lived in a comfortable lifestyle unaffected and unaware what was happening on the other side of the population. The rich upper classes did not acknowledge the working classes as anything but cheap labour for use in production of goods. In the play Eva Smith/Daisy Renton represents the poverty stricken working class people of Britain. An example of the split of upper class and working class can be found on page six when Sheila asks the Inspector about Eva Smith's death and Mrs. Birling says, "I don't suppose for a moment we can understand why that girl committed suicide. Girls of that class..." This wasn't just Mrs. Birlings view on the poor but also most of the upper classes too. ...read more.

Conclusion

Birling didn't care about Eva Smith's death. At the end of the play Sheila is the only one to have learnt anything from the whole "hoax" of the Inspector. Eric seems to agree with Sheila about even if it was a hoax the deeds they have done still aren't right. Sheila starts to understand about socialism and its meaning. The others start to feel the tension lofted as Gerald rings up the hospital and there are no reported suicides. When the police ring back and say there has been a suicide and their sending an Inspector over the whole ordeal seems to start again, another chance for them to learn from their mistakes. After studying the play in this essay, J.B Priestley uses the social and political climate of the day, the class system, the Inspector and many techniques and devices to put his socialist views across in his play. Also Priestley gives us the idea that none of this would've had come to light if the girl hadn't of committed suicide. The play is also like a test in the way that the Birlings have to keep taking it until they learn their lesson. ...read more.

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