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The main theme of 'an inspector calls' is responsibility. Choose one scene from the play that deals with the issues of responsibility in a dramatic and striking way. Show how J. B. Priestly uses dramatic devices and structures to engage the attention o...

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The main theme of 'an inspector calls' is responsibility. Choose one scene from the play that deals with the issues of responsibility in a dramatic and striking way. Show how J. B. Priestly uses dramatic devices and structures to engage the attention of the audience. John Boyton Priestly (1894-1984) wrote 'An inspector calls' in 1945 and it was first performed in 1946. The play was set in 1912. Priestly wrote this play to send out a message of responsibility to the people. Priestly believed that even in 1945 they were still the same as they were in 1912, which is why Priestly choose to set the play in 1912, along with various other reasons, such as he wanted the audience to have the benefit of dramatic irony. During the Second World War, the people had united to fight one common enemy. This unity was that he wanted us to understand and believe in. He wanted to give everyone a choice. Should we go back to the way it was before the First World War, when everything was based on class, where an individual had to look solely after themselves, and no one else, or should we move forward, walk into the society where everyone looks for one another, where we all are equal and we work together? ...read more.


Her constant nagging and putting others down at the start of the play creates a disliking for character already. She is snobbish and polite in such a way, that it is rude. She is a very hypocritical woman, and we find the extreme extent to her hypocrite. She begins by building a 'wall' between herself and 'girls of that class' as she refers Eva. She feels that it was all Eva's fault that she was in the situations the Birling's put her through. Mrs. Birling lacks empathy and cannot understand Eva because of her class. In Priestley's opening notes, he describes Sheila as a 'young girl' even though she is in her early twenties. This makes us feels that she is childish and not pay much attention to her, until she has 'grown up'. We also get the impression that she is na�ve when Priestly adds, 'very pleased with life'. She is ignorant to the world of the working class, and is constantly surrounded by her riches without even considering the lives of other people. During the engagement party, Gerald gives Sheila an engagement ring. This is to represent their relationship and love. Her words on receiving the gift are 'Oh -Gerald-you've got it'. The pause in her sentence indicates the excitement in her voice. ...read more.


I feel that Eric is my second favourite character as he, like Sheila accepts his responsibility for the death of Eva Smith, although, Eric did not feel as much guilt as Sheila did, even though his crime was worse. I can somewhat relate to Eric and I think that people like Sheila and Eric are the hope for a new society, just like Priestly's ideals. My attitude towards Gerald is that, like Mr. and Mrs. Birling, I dislike him. Priestly's message was to change, he knew the adults were stuck in their own reality and will never change so he puts his hope into the children. However, Priestly also knew that some of the children like the adults will not agree with his ideals, which is where Gerald comes in. Gerald is just like Mr. Birling as he does not think that he has done anything wrong. For these reason I dislike him. J. B. Priestly's message (told via the inspector) tells us that we should have collective responsibility, and share our duties equally between us all. Do we really want to live in a world where those of higher class choose our fate, or do we want to choose our own fate? His message is still relevant today, as I think we still live in a society such as the one Priestly desires, we still need to learn his message, as we need to remember our responsibility for others and ourselves. Joe Tran 10rle ...read more.

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