• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Main Themes in ‘An Inspector Calls’

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Main Themes in 'An Inspector Calls' The play 'An Inspector Calls' is written by J.B.Priestley. The play is set in 1912. To understand the play fully, the reader/viewer of the play has to understand its historical context. 1912 was the year that the titanic set sail, the year that the Suffragette movement started campaigning for women's rights in society. It was also the year that Captain Scott failed to reach the South Pole. 1912 was also the year in which the trade unions started to gain power and that there were huge technological advances like the electric lighting within homes and the cinema started its career. The life expectancy then was about 46 years old compared to about 85 now. Within the play there are many themes, some are very obvious, some are more hidden within the text. The playwright conveys these themes through the way each character acts and what each character says and to whom in what manner. The main theme is to do with responsibility for your actions, but there are many others such as the class system, love, lies, pride, women, sex and family, but these are only the main ones, there may some more obscure ones within this text that I have not picked up. ...read more.

Middle

If you don't come down sharply on some of these people, they'd soon be asking for the earth. He refers to her and her fellow workers as 'some of these people' as if they were just cheap labour, not real people like him and his family. This reflects Mr Birlings Victorian morals which he describes as part of one of his speeches: 'a man has to make his own way, has to look after himself - and his family too, of course, when he has one - and so long as he does he won't come to much harm. But the way some of these cranks talk and write now, you'd think everybody has to look after everybody else, as if we're all mixed up together like bees in a hive - community and all that nonsense'. This shows his values very clearly and how he bleives its every man for himself, this shows how he thinks business is firs then family comes in as an afterthought. Another main theme was Pride. The play shows that pride is only what people make and that pride is rooted only in shallow soil that can easily be upturned. People's pride, as show by Mr Birling, can take the better of them and make it all a fantasy, a life that they want to life the pride they want to have, not what they actually have. ...read more.

Conclusion

He thought this was just plain rude and shouldn't be and wasn't accepted then. Mr Birling also wants to climb the social ladder through the marriage of his daughter since the mother of his daughters fianc�e, Lady Croft, is already part of the aristocracy and since he thinks that his service as a magistrate and the Lord Mayor means that he deserves it, and his daughters marriage into aristocracy just seals it all off. Overall throughout this essay I have found out that the main theme within the play is responsibility, but that there are many underlying themes, such as generation gap, lies pride, sex, classes, the view of women, which I have tried to explore but I am certain that there are other themes within the play which I have either just overlooked or just missed out. This, as any other book, play or text has meanings which can be interpreted as many different things. I have interpreted them in one way but others might interpret them differently, it is all to do with where you come from, whether you look at the background of the reader, the way he writes, how this might be related to his childhood or previous experiences. However, in this essay, I have not explore the play to that depth, only what was written within the text of the play. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE J.B. Priestley section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE J.B. Priestley essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The apportioning of blame and responsibility are central themes in 'An Inspector Calls'. Each ...

    4 star(s)

    happy to marry Gerald Croft, A man who will give her a life similar to the one she has grown up in. This shows her immaturity and ignorance to the suffering people all around her, for example Eva Smith/Daisy Renton.

  2. Show how J.B Priestley demonstrates his political views through ‘An Inspector Calls’. You need ...

    Another part of the social and political climate Priestley uses to demonstrate his political views through the play is the class system. Priestley being a socialist himself would have hated the class system just as the socialists in 1912 did, this is a reoccurring theme throughout the play.

  1. How Would a Modern Day Audience Respond To a Performance of ‘an Inspector ...

    People like Mrs Birling had the power to destroy or rebuild people's lives as in the play Eva Smith appeals to her organization for help (Brumley Women's Charitable Organization) for money or advice. If the 'charity' did give them what they wanted then the person could live a slightly better

  2. Discuss this view of responsibility, guilt and blame in ‘An Inspector Calls’ and discuss ...

    The bosses wanted things to stay as they always had been, with them in control of the labour, jobs, conditions and pay. The bosses, being of a higher class than the workers, believed that they knew best and should make decisions for the masses.

  1. Show how the production of ‘An Inspector Calls’ enhanced the script and furthered your ...

    above the level of the street enhances the point that they see themselves as being above everyone else. The street is dirty and has Edna the maid there emptying the rubbish. This image contrasts with the big warm house with elaborate d�cor to provide a complete difference between their world and everyone else's world.

  2. Explore the function of Inspector Goole in ‘An Inspector Calls’

    He obviously doesn't think this is the way to act towards a man who used to be Lord Mayor. The Inspector doesn't seem to react to this, though he most certainly knows and understands Mr Birling's view and thoughts, he simply chooses to ignore them.

  1. How does J. B Priestly Turn What He Has Seen, thought and felt ...

    "...but she died. Suicide of course. Yes, yes. Horrible business. But I don't understand why you should come here, Inspector-" This shows Birling trying to disassociate himself. Later, when the inspector has revealed that Mr Birling sacked Eva, Birling is talking about how he had to come down sharp on

  2. Examine the role of Eva in ‘An Inspector Calls’

    But as we know this was unfair because women were given less respect in those days. I think the girls got what they always where going to get and that was no change. I don't think this is fair but that was the way it was in those days and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work