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

The play, 'An Inspector calls' was written by J.B Priestly in 1945. The play is set in 1912 shortly before the First World War and the voyage of the famous titanic, which sank after being hit by an iceberg.

Extracts from this document...


The play, 'An Inspector calls' was written by J.B Priestly in 1945. The play is set in 1912 shortly before the First World War and the voyage of the famous titanic, which sank after being hit by an iceberg. Many ironic references are made concerning these events for example Mr Birling describes the titanic as, "The Titanic-she sails next week-forty six eight hundred tons-and every luxury-and unsinkable absolutely unsinkable". The play was later performed in 1946 when many political and social views were different throughout society due to the influences of the Second World War. The short structure and easily studied context maybe one of the many reasons why it is read in classrooms today, it has various outlooks and focuses on modern day issues as well as post war antics and beliefs. Priestly observes the historical context of time, place, and action in his structure, making the audience interested from the beginning, the time span of the play in performance corresponds with the actual time the events presented would take to unfold in real life. The Birlings dining room is constant throughout; characters do leave from the scene but nothing irrelevant takes place to distract the audience's attention. As it is short and has a clear formation it is accessible, therefore it is easily understood making it enjoyable to watch. ...read more.


Sheila not only is prepared to admit her faults; she also appears anxious to change her behaviour in the future, "I'll never, never do it again", Sheila is unable to accept her parent's attitude and is amazed that they have not learned anything from this episode. The suspense is increased greatly when Mr Birling rings up the infirmary. "Have you had a girl bought in this afternoon who committed suicide by drinking disinfectant-or any like suicide? Yes, I'll wait". When the audience is placed in, the situation, waiting for the answer, causes a large amount of tension between play and audience. The cliff-hanger that the audience is left with at the end of the play, when a telephone call is announced by Mr Birling "That was the police. A girl has just died-on her way to the infirmary-after swallowing some disinfectant. And a police inspector is on his way here to ask questions", ensures that the audience will leave in a state of shock, which definitely is a huge example of an effective play both in performance and study. The Inspector acts as a huge part in the play. He firstly sets the scene; he questions the Birlings' morals. He is straight to the point creating atmosphere and creating much tension during the play. The inspector is rude and nasty; he knows what the Birlings have done and therefore takes advantage of this using forceful interrogation, by knowing this he moves the story along and fills in many gaps. ...read more.


Inspector Goole even points this out, "You are offering money at the wrong time Mr. Birling". Mr. Birling is a 'self made man' his first and only priority is to make money "It's my duty to keep labour costs down". He is over powered by politics and is subjectively a former mayor and in the running for a knight-hood. It seems he does not have his own opinion or take responsibility for his actions, this is shown in his visions of the future for example the Titanic which he thought which he described as unsinkable He also commented on how he believed in 1940 there would be peace and prosperity, he was wrong in 1940 the Second World War was taking place. All of Mr. Birling's visions were incorrect. After the Inspector has left, he continues to ignore the shameful things that his family has done. When it appears that the Inspector might have been a hoax, he is happy to believe that everything is as it was a few hours before, he even accuses Eric and Sheila as "The younger generation who know it all". This is an example of his pride, he must think of his reputation. J.B Priestly is attacking the privileges of class in the play. He is saying that there should be more equality and we should not take our life style for granted. We also should take responsibility for our actions. ?? ?? ?? ?? Hamzah M Khaled Page 1 02/05/2007 ...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. To what extent do you feel that the Characters are changed by the Inspector's ...

    In her conversation with Gerald he claims that he will be able to keep the truth of his affair with Daisy Renton a secret from the Inspector. Sheila calls Gerald "a foolo and correctly tells him that the Inspector "knows about everything.o After the Inspector's departure Sheila, supported by Eric,

  2. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    However, Priestley chose to set the play just before the First World War. This enabled him to expose the political decisions made and relate the moral of his play to a much larger scenario. The play takes place in the Birling dining room, which is described as heavily decorated but not homelike.

  1. Free essay

    "AN INSPECTOR CALLS" By J. B. Priestly has been described as a play of ...

    Daisy Renton. He describes the close relationship they acquired near the beginning of act two So Daisy Renton became his mistress, and he gave her money and a place to stay:. "So I insisted on Daisy moving into those rooms and I made her take some money to keep her

  2. JB Priestly wrote "An Inspector Calls" in 1945, during the ending of the Second ...

    She is 'very pleased with life' (act1, pg2) She is young attractive, her happiness is soon to be destroyed, as is her faith in her family. I think she had been accompanied all her life and she followed others, but once the inspector makes an unexpected appearance it all changes.

  1. 'An Inspector calls' is set in 1912 and was written for a 1946 audience. ...

    The first statement that I am going to study is; 'the situations and the morals that they show are out of date and are not relevant anymore'. In the play there are many examples, which both support and contradict this statement.

  2. Would You Agree That the Play Is One Big Metaphor?

    Remember that. Never forget it." (Page 55). The final words that he leaves with the Birling's "One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and millions of Eva Smiths ad John Smiths still left with us..." Adam and Eve were the first people according to the Bible and the names John and Smith are some of the most common names today.

  1. How does J.B Priestly explore the issues of social responsibility on 'An Inspector Calls'?

    one of the few encouraging things to come out of the play, it makes the audience see that you are able to change. She shows compassion towards the thought of the death of this girl ' it's a rotten shame'.

  2. 'An Inspector Calls' is based in 1912, before the first and second world war, ...

    Money in this era was a precious thing and all Eva Smith was to Mr Birling was a problem, which must be rid off immediately, especially since it could cause him the loss of profits. When writing the character of Mr Birling, I think Priestley was putting across his hatred of selfish, money hungry businessmen.

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