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The inspector Calls

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How does J.B Priestley get across his message about responsibility in the play An Inspector Calls? Responsibility is a key factor in the play which somehow no one seems to acknowledge, responsibility is all about being the primary case of something and so able to be blamed or credited for it. Yet J.B Priestley takes advantage of the characters not being able to accept responsibility of anything which then leads to a death with everyone refusing to take responsibility when they all uniquely had a part to blame in the death. But whether they accept this blame is another question altogether. Arthur Birlings is a successful industrial business man and the inhabitants of Brumley owe to him their employment. For example Mr.Birling did have Eva smith as one of his employees but he discharged her due to wanting an increase in pay. Whereas Mr.Birling strongly puts forward an idea that a man should only care for himself and his family. "Well it's my duty to keep the costs down we were paying the usual rates and if they didn't like it they could go work somewhere else" page 15 "I told the girl to clear out and she went" Page 16 Mr.Birling is not a bad man and probably considers himself to be a good employer but he still really refuses to accept any responsibility towards Eva Smith whatsoever, but his daughter Sheila was just as much to blame for the incident because she was so envious and jealous of this Eva Smith, so much that she complained about her to the manager of the shop at Milwards. ...read more.


Through this creation of the powerful all- knowing nature of the character of the Inspector and through the revelation of the apparently incredible but all too real chain of events in which the characters are all involved. Priestley has successfully moved both his reading audience beyond the bounds of naturalism. It is this unreal quality of the inspector's final prophecy of "fire blood and anguish" - Priestley's reference to world war 1- he successfully imbues the Inspector with an almost supernatural quality. Yet he has been successful in bringing Sheila and Eric only to a realisation of their guilt and responsibility, the effect of the Inspector whoever he may have been has been to split the family irrevocably, whilst Gerald, Arthur and Sybil laugh at what they perceive to be a hoax. As soon as Inspector enters the room there is a sudden rush of tenseness and panic. It comes to a shock that they of all people get disturbed on the night of their daughters engagement. The audience receives a clear impression about what sort of lifestyle that they lead they clearly show they are wealthy and show plenty of evidence that they lead an upper class lifestyle by the way that they are seen, heard and in the way that they act. In act one we see the fa�ade of Respectability and they talk in a highly mannered way and in the first scene with them sitting round a table drinking port and smoking shows that they are happy and they are enjoying their lifestyle. ...read more.


Men like Alderman Meggarty's, from a privileged social position, also treated Daisy Renton (and other girls) badly. In one sense the whole of society is on trial, this is what Priestley wants the audience to feel. Priestley's sympathy for the plight of girls like Eva smith is evident. It is part of his deeply felt, genuine concern for humanity, not just the expression of a political opinion. Throughout the play Responsibility is a key issue and he really reflects it well in the characters, so overall Priestly gets his message across about responsibility really well he uses the Inspector as a key source to express his feelings and opinions about responsibility towards all women etc and how they are treated. I think that the audience feel shocked at the very end of the play because it's not what they expected to happen and that Priestley used the plot twist really well and created real good suspense. Priestley wrote the play in 1945 at the end of world war 2 but he set it in 1912 I believe this to be because he wanted to start it at the beginning of the war, he was trying to explain that the society in that time was badly- run worn down and women was just not treated as equals and this frustrated Priestley. I found that from reading the play that it was well written and that he did a splendid job of showing us a glimpse of society in that particular era. He really puts it across in a really positive way. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1. Gemma Gordon 08/12/2007 10 de ...read more.

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