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

What message do you think Priestley wanted to convey to his audience when he wrote 'An Inspector Calls'? Consider to what extent he was successful and how he achieved his aim.

Extracts from this document...


What message do you think Priestley wanted to convey to his audience when he wrote 'An Inspector Calls'? Consider to what extent he was successful and how he achieved his aim. 'An Inspector Calls' is a play written in 1945 but set in 1912, which was before World War One, the Great Depression and World War Two. J.B. Priestley, an idealistic socialist, wrote the play trying to warn his audience of the problems of society as it was. The play set in Brumley, England was written at a time when communities were trying to rebuild themselves after World War Two and society was still divided into clear-cut classes. The story focuses on the Birlings celebrating an engagement when an Inspector calls. The Birlings are able to have these values because they have money, own a business and are prominent members of the higher class of society. This family like others at the time were capitalists, they believed that a person was worth the money they owned, they only earned money for themselves and their families. Priestley did not agree with this way of living, he felt that the community should be reformed to live by socialist views, which were that people should all be equal and work towards the good of the community. ...read more.


At this early point in the play the audience have probably already begun to feel this hatred because of Birling's snobbish and blatantly incorrect opening speeches. Although Birling was not to know what he was predicting for the future would turn out to be wrong, Priestley made him sound ignorant through the technique of dramatic irony by using his knowledge of the past to make the audience resent Birling. The audience knew what really happened; making what Birling said sound stupid, due to it being so wrong, "The Germans don't want war." (p6) The play was set before the First World War, but was being viewed after it. This made Birling incorrect about the war, which happened five years after setting of the play, he was also incorrect about the "unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable" Titanic, which we all know was struck by an iceberg and sank. Also Birling does not repent about Eva's death, therefore Priestly was in the process of turning the audience against Birling, but more importantly turning them against capitalists. Other capitalists that would have been difficult to convince to change their ways would have been the other older members of the family. Gerald, with older members of the family, did not repent at the end of the play, but rejoiced when receiving the news that Eva had apparently not died. ...read more.


which could plant the idea of the Inspector being a ghoul due to the very similar spelling. Priestley wrote it like this to begin ideas in the minds of audiences, only to cover up his need for a way to convey his point views. Priestley had wanted to use this play to convey his want of a socialist society, and used the Inspector as his voice throughout. The Inspector says, "We don't live alone. We are members of one body - We are responsible for each other." (p56) Priestley had been trying to express all the way throughout the play, this is the closest to saying that he wanted the community to change towards socialism. I believe that he conveyed a very good argument for changing lifestyles, and he supported it with his plot, but it is not very likely that he would have changed anybody in their views. The twists in the plot and unsuspected ending were very though provoking, Priestley wrote these very well and that only made his argument more convincing to the audience. Throughout history there has always been different classes, because if people work harder than others, surely they should be rewarded with more. Over the years, life has come closer to how Priestley had wanted it, there are still classes, and everybody is not equal, but the divides are faint and hardly every recognised in polite society. Words ~ 1684 Melissa Quazi English 14/05/02 'An Inspector Calls' J.B. Priestley ...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. What message do you think that Priestley is trying to give in 'An Inspector ...

    The inspector is also rude. He says to Mr Birling 'Don't stammer and yammer at me again, man'. This is very rude considering Mr Birling is a very influential person in society and he is also a very good friend with the head of the police force.

  2. The message of an inspector calls

    At a time like here when you can sense that Sheila is suspicious of her fianc�e and one can imagine her staring down Gerald and Gerald trying to escape her gaze. It makes it tenser and more obvious if Sheila and Gerald have been placed directly in front of each other.

  1. How does Priestley convey his social message in an Inspector Calls?

    Another important theme in the script is social responsibility. With great status and money, comes great responsibility, in the case of the family's responsibility for Eva. The major importance in the script is the characters and how they change throughout the play.

  2. An Inspector Calls - Social message.

    * The Inspector's knowledge of events, apparently before they happen, his steady revelation of the character's pasts and their links to the dead girl over a two-year period gives him a mystical, unworldly quality - what J.c. Trewin in his review of the play in the Observer in 1946 called "the angel with the flaming sword".

  1. What messages does Priestley convey in Inspector Calls?

    This goes some way to conveying Preistley's view that the younger generations can and generally do devolpe and improve on their parents attributes, and so this offers some hope for our society yet. This is a huge contrast to Mr.

  2. How does J.B Priestley use the character of Sheila Birling to convey his message ...

    Oh I wish you hadn't told me." This quote tells me that Sheila may have realised that her life is quite pathetic in comparison to Eva Smith's and she may have felt guilty in being so happy when a few miles away this terrible thing was taking place.

  1. In 'An Inspector Calls', the author, J.B. Priestley chose to set the play in ...

    His imperiously selfish views were propagated to directly attack Priestley's beliefs relating to a community. This "nonsense" concept of community also directly contradicts the significant concept of a "body"; so now, it is up to the corrective purpose of the inspector to seriously challenge Birling's eccentric, stereotypical capitalist ways.

  2. Inspector Calls - How effectively does Priestley convey his message?

    He persuades the characters to reveal things which they would rather conceal. He also behaves like a priest to each character, encouraging them to confess or acknowledge their guilt for Eva Smith's suicide, and to repent, but neither forgives or punishes.

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