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We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other." What is Priestley's main aim in "An Inspector Calls" and how successfully does he achieve it?

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Introduction

"We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other." What is Priestley's main aim in "An Inspector Calls" and how successfully does he achieve it? I think that Priestley's main aim in the play is to get across to the audience that society needs to change. He wrote the play in 1945 which was near the end of World War II and wanted to get the message across that the world needed to change and stop having wars. Priestley wants the audience to realise that how they are living needs to change. He shows that without everyone the world doesn't work, "We are members of one body," the Inspector is showing that you would work better with two eyes instead of one. This is exactly what the family come to realise from the Inspectors visit as he shows them that they all were responsible for Eva's death. The quotation in the question above is what Priestley wants the audience to realise. It is very convincing because he uses the word "we" which involves the audience and as well as the characters. This shows that Priestley wanted to get a message across to the audience using the characters' dialogue. ...read more.

Middle

Shelia learns so much from the Inspectors visit. "We can all go on behaving just as we did" she said sarcastically because she still knows what happened and doesn't want anyone to commit suicide. Mr Birling learns the least, "look, you'd better ask Gerald for that ring you gave back to him, hadn't you?" which shows they are opposites; Mr Birling thinks he's always right and Sheila does what she is told. Mr Birling only seems to care about his business, "look, you'd better ask Gerald for that ring you gave back to him, hadn't you?" he said to Sheila after they discovered that the first Inspector was a fake. This indicates that he cares more about his business than his daughter's feelings as he only wants Sheila to marry Gerald so he and the Crofts can run a business. Priestley tries to show this as being wrong because in today's society this wouldn't happen, demonstrating that Priestley's main aim was successful as now society has changed in that field in western culture but it has not been successful in other places. Mrs Birling seems to think that she did the right thing when Eva came to her for help, but the audience can see that what she did was wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

The audience listens to the Inspector because he behaves so calmly but says the most awful things, "She's dead". This helps to express Priestley main aim as the audience remembers him because he was so strange and unpleasant, thus they remember his main aim. The Inspector's final speech uses the word "we" many times in the play which makes it seem like he is not just talking to the characters but to the audience as well, making it clear that he wants our society to change. I think this play was very successful as we have seen differences to our society since then already. Priestley play was very effective as it makes the audience feel that an Inspector could call on them at anytime, which forces them to think before doing something wrong. It also makes you focus on the Inspector the most because of his attitude as he is the one trying to get the point across to the audience; that we need to change our ways. It is still relevant to today as people are still doing things today that set off a chain of events to cause something else to happen. The play has defiantly affected me as it makes you think about what you are doing and how you should act. ?? ?? ?? ?? Daniel Griffiths 10ZA ...read more.

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