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

What is Preistley’s main aim in An Inspector Calls? How successfully does he achieve it?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What is Preistley's main aim in An Inspector Calls? How successfully does he achieve it? In this play a lot of immoral acts are committed by all four of the Birlings and by Gerald. I propose to look in detail at the moral issues the play raises, to discuss the effect of drama in the play, and the faint optimism displayed by the younger generation at the end of the performance. The moral meaning is summed up by a passage spoken by the Inspector's on page 56: 'We do not live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.' This talks about the community and how every member of society must help one another. This is in contrast to what Mr Birling says very early on in the play: 'a man has to make his own way', page 9. This is the opposite of what the Inspector later says about community and how it is not one man's job to get through life. Mr Birling was, perhaps, the least guilty of the Birlings, excluding Gerald. He discharged Eva for asking for a small raise, from twenty-two shillings and six pence to twenty-five shillings a week. He claims that this is entirely just, as it is 'my job to keep labour costs down', which it is; this is why I believe he is the least guilty. ...read more.

Middle

Later, Gerald appears to be indifferent to the death of Eva especially after the inspector has left and he believes it was all a hoax. Indifference is also shown to the fact that he sinned. Mrs Birling denied Eva benefits from a charity of which she was the chairman. This was for several reasons, but the main one was the fact that Eva fabricated a name when it was her turn to be interviewed by the charity's committee. Her name of choice was Mrs Birling, this was because it was Eric who had made her pregnant, and the real Mrs Birling obviously did not know this fact, and seemed to think that Eva was personally insulting her. Eva therefore received no benefits. This was a highly immoral act, as the members of the committee are not meant to be prejudiced towards any appeal. Mrs Birling thought that what she did was acceptable because Eva had lied. However, it was in fact not a lie as it was Eric's child, also a Mr Birling, and he did propose to marry her but she had refused, as she knew it would not work. Eric was in a bar one night and he got talking to Eva, he also got drunk. He then walked Eva home and forced himself upon her, page 52: 'Well, I was in that state when a chap easily turns nasty'. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are drawn in to the rights and wrongs of the characters' actions, and they pass judgement upon Gerald and Eric's behaviour, Mrs Birling's snobbery, Mr Birling's self righteousness. The audience listens to the moral of the story, that we are individuals in a society, who should look after each other, and not be merely out for what we can get. The final few words of the play are unexpected. We have had the feeling that the Inspector is not all he seems, but now that the real police (presumably) have telephoned, things become clearer. I wanted to see a continuation of the play, with real events, real police, and see how much the characters changed when faced with the information again. No doubt Sheila and Eric would approach the situation differently, they seem to have learned a lesson from events. On page 70, Sheila says: ' Everything we said had happened really had happened. If it didn't end tragically, then that's lucky for us. But it might have done.' and on page 71: 'You're pretending everything's just as it was before'. She and Eric have moved on from their original viewpoints, and this gives us hope for the future, it is to be hoped that they would not behave so badly again in their future relationships with people. Unfortunately, we are unable to know the real ending. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tim Godfrey 10C ...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. How does Preistley present the character of Inspector Goole in 'An Inspector Calls'?

    Birling's assurance that it was unsinkable. The audience will not believe in Mr. Birling's haughtiness, as they already know the outcome. He is presented as being a hardheaded, arrogant and selfish businessman. J.B Priestley uses these ironic references to add tension to the scene, in the build up to the Inspector's entrance.

  2. ‘We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for ...

    I felt he was the most truthful to him, but still treads lightly with the inspector. The inspector picks up on his truthfulness when talking to Sybil P43 'Mr. Croft told us - quite truthfully, I believe.' He became quite stern with Sheila at one point P26 'Now listen, darlin.'

  1. What was Priestley's aim in writing an Inspector Calls? How successfully does he achieve ...

    Similar to Mr Birling, she is not willing to accept any responsibility for her actions and claims that it is 'natural' for the upper class to be prejudiced against the lower class. Sheila Birling demonstrates the attitudes of someone who has been brought up in the upper class.

  2. "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for ...

    Preistley uses her to show that it is not just men who are the barrier to the unification of society. Her view on the world, although she is mean and cruel, is through rose-tinted spectacles. She cannot imagine that Eric has been drinking at all, let alone heavily as this quote demonstrates - "Mrs.

  1. "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for ...

    Priestley effectively involves and engages his audience in several other ways, in order to express his main message more successfully. The use of dramatic irony helps to absorb the audience's attention by making them feel as if they know more than the characters themselves.

  2. What is Priestley's main aim in 'An inspector calls'? how successfully does he achieve ...

    he says: "It's about time you learnt to face a few responsibilities." He tells Eric that he will never be a good boss if he doesn't follow his ideals. He wants to keep his profits high, so Eva Smith, the ringleader; had to go because she tried to ask for more money from her fellow workers.

  1. How successfully does Daldrey interpret Priestley's text 'An Inspector Calls' for the audience?

    During one of Birling's speeches, he mentioned The Titanic. He quoted 'she sails next week- forty six thousand eight hundred tons- New York in five days- and every luxury- and unsinkable'. This is dramatic irony, as we already know the consequences of The Titanic.

  2. What is Priestley's main aim in 'An Inspector Calls'? How successfully does he ...

    We know this because when Birling mentions the fact that he feels war is impossible because of the rate at which the world is developing, he tells Gerald, Sheila and Eric that "you youngsters just remember what I said". Through history the audience know birling is proven wrong as two that world wars had occurred.

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