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What I think J.B.Priestleys aim was and how he tries to achieve it in An Inspector Calls.

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In the story an Inspector visits a wealthy and posh family, the Birling's in the Edwardian era. The family was celebrating Sheila Birling's engagement to Gerald Croft, who is also there, when the Inspector arrives telling them that a young girl called Eva Smith had committed suicide. At first they all denied that they knew Eva, but as the inspector starts to question them he manages to show that they all played a party in Eva's death. Mr. Birling had Eva fired from his factory for asking for a small increase in her wages; Sheila ordered her to be fired from her job in a shop just because of her pride; Gerald Croft kept her as his mistress before leaving her suddenly; Eric Birling (son of Mr. and Mrs. Birling) also had an affair with the girl and stole money to help her to have a better life; and Mrs. Birling didn't help Eva Smith when she needed it most, driving her to suicide. After the Inspector visits we can see which of the characters have learned their lesson from what the Inspector had said, the Birling's should take more consideration to other peoples feelings. The Birling's are firmly holding on to their old beliefs. The different attitudes between the older and younger characters are shown by their conversations after the Inspector leaves. Mr. Birling says, "Drop that. ...read more.


He wasn't even interested about her death when the Inspector mentioned it, "Yes. Horrid business. But I don't understand why you should come here" Mr Birling doesn't even stop for a second to see if he could help in anyway dealing with Eva's death. During Mr Birling�s speech on how we should look after each other, the doorbell rang; the atmosphere changed the moment the Inspector entered the scene. The reader might have been wondering, who was at the door at this time. Their thoughts on the family may now change when the Inspector comes in because usually it means that something might happen. The family began to wonder who this new inspector was and why he was there at that time. Dramatic twists are used well in this play with Mr Birling�s thoughts of the war and the Titanic, "The Titanic she sails next week-forty six thousand tons-New York in five days and every luxury-and unsinkable", "Germans don't want war. Nobody wants war except some half-civilized folks in the Balkans. And why? There's too much at stake these days. Everything to lose and nothing to gain by war" The play was set before the First World War (WWI) but published after the war, so the reader would know that Mr Birling is wrong about the war and the Titanic. This would show Mr Birling is a fool, as Priestley intended him to be. ...read more.


Birling is hinting that a girl in her position has no right to give her own thoughts. This also links up with the main theme shared responsibility. We should treat everyone the same however poor or rich they are. This would also make the reader feel frustrated towards Mrs Birling; they would get the idea that she was a selfish and snobby woman. This is probably what Priestley had wanted because he wanted Mrs Birling's character to make the reader feel no compassion for her. After the Inspector left the scene and the reader really began to see the characters for their real individual selves. When they try and forget about what had just gone on. The only person who was affected was Sheila the rest of them were just thinking about themselves and how they would get out of this mess. Birling "Yes and you don't realize yet all you've done. Most of this is bound to come out. There'll be a public scandal. Throughout the play the Birlings have showed me their good side and their weak side I think that this play would have made a big impact on its reader because the message was quite intense because the country had just had the Second World War. I think that J.B.Priestley succeeded because when I read the story I could understand what Priestley was trying to tell me about why the Inspector was there. He gave quite a few hints in the story for example when the Inspector left he said "We are members of one body, we are responsible for each other". ...read more.

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