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What do you learn from this play about attitudes to social status at this time?

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What do you learn from this play about attitudes to social status at this time? The play 'The Inspector Calls' by JB Priestly is written in a very specific way. Priestly uses the characters in this play to show how upper class families see themselves compared with people who are much lower than them. Throughout the play the actions and speech are used to convey some of his own thoughts and views on social status. You could say that he uses some of his characters as a mouthpiece. In the play many themes are touched upon, one of the main ones being social status. At the beginning of the play we are introduced to a family and friend who are upper class. The family are the Birlings who are described as living in 'A fairly large suburban house, belonging to a prosperous manufacturer.' Even though the speech in the play hasn't actually begun JB Priestly already paints us an image of the way that they live and what they are like. He uses words such as 'portentous' and 'superior' to describe the way that the Birlings look in the first stage directions. ...read more.


This really demonstrates how they could use their social position and how much it means. The character was also able to back up her solution of dismissal with money. When Sheila realizes what she has done, unlike her father, she feels very ashamed, 'It's the only time I've done anything like that and I'll never, never do it again to anybody.' Although Sheila is sorry it shows us that she did not consider her actions and got rid of a perfectly good enough assistant. It was all over a silly thing, it demonstrates to us that she did not care, but she did take full responsibility for what she had done. Gerald Croft is described as an 'attractive chap', who is 'very much the easy well-bred young man-about-town.' He is the third person to see the photo. When we meet Gerald he seems happy with his life, he has it all. Although we see another side of his character when he tries to be deceitful towards the others. He recognizes the girl and tries to deny allegations that he helped with her death. We find out that Gerald took her in and she was what we would call his mistress. ...read more.


At this point in the play the Birling family start to show their true feelings and no one more so than Eric. At that time getting an unmarried woman pregnant would have been disgraceful enough, but then he did not marry her and stole money to help her out. By the end of the play you see that Mr. and Mrs. Birling and Gerald, who would take no responsibility for the girls' death, start to panic. As these characters are upper class they worry about how their reputations will be affected, but do not feel or show any sympathy for the girl whose death they had a hand in. This really displays how important social status was and especially how people around you viewed social status. In contrast to them it appears that Sheila and Eric do not see social status as important; in a way they consider everyone is equal and should be given a fair chance in life. They have learnt to think about how their actions are affecting others. This really shows us how different people's views were and through Sheila and Eric, Priestly tries to demonstrate the right way we should see others, no matter what status they hold. ?? ?? ?? ?? Annabelle storey English essay First draft ...read more.

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