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What particular moral messages are to be found in

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What Particular Moral Messages are to be found in "An Inspector Calls"? How does Priestley portray his moral meaning? Priestley wrote an Inspector Calls in 1945 - just before the end of WW2. However, The play itself is set in 1912 - just before the start of WW1, and in Edwardian England. Priestley was a socialist writer who had left wing political views with very strong beliefs; he enjoyed using types of theatre to get his messages across. When the platy was set, there was a lot of historical events going on at the time; Titanic, Captain Scott falling to reach S Pole, Suffragette movement campaigning for women's rights, worker striking for better pay and conditions, Russia unrest, no NHS/DHSS, and no help from state for poor. All of these are mentioned in the play at some point - either briefly or to get messages across. In Edwardian times - when the play was set - class was deemed as being very important. You were expected to know your class and stick to it. The Birling's were wealthy middle-class landowners; they were well respected and had hopes of climbing the social ladder. Mr. Birling had hopes of a knighthood, putting him in high up in the social status, and he was the owner of a factory he had a lot of power. This was shown when he got rid of Eva Smith. ...read more.


The fact that he said the Titanic was "unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable" was ironic, and showed how optimistic and shortsighted Birling could be. Cars and aeroplanes are also mentioned showing confidence on Birling's part, "In a year or two we'll have aeroplanes that can go anywhere. And look at the way the auto-mobile's making headway." When it comes to Sheila, perhaps the most important character in the play after the Inspector, there is a huge change in attitude from the beginning to the end. The can be epitomized by the way she refers to her mum as "Mummy" at the beginning, and "Mother" at the end of the play. Her character could actually be part of a moral message to do with the suffragettes campaigning for Women's rights at the time, as Sheila gradually gets mentally stronger throughout the play. This is in comparison to Birling, who turns out to be one of the weaker characters mentally. However, Sheila was the one that got Eva fired from her comfortable job, and started the downfall in her life; this was all because she was using her family upper-class status to get rid of her. This is showing in the play again, how big a gap there was in the classes in 1912. Yet, with Sheila maturing throughout the play, it is a message about how Women have become equal with, if not superior in some cases, as time has gone on. ...read more.


As she is upper class, she feels she has the right to just turn away the lower class, even though she was part of "the Brumley Women's Charity Organization." She also refused to believe her story, "That's the story she finally told, after I'd refused to believe her original story", and when questioned whether it might have been true, she was too proud to admit she may've been wrong, "Possibly. But it sounded ridiculous to me." With Eva then dying after failing to receive help, this could be a message that if more upper class helped lower class, then there might not have been such a gap between the classes, and not so much poverty. The final character to appear was Eric. Eric was very ill disciplined when it came to his behaviour, yet he was also caring for her. Rather than being intentionally bad, it was more a case of one bad thing lead to another, with the sex and stolen money. Generally, pre-marital sex was frowned upon in those days, and I think this was in the play to compare the reaction received by Eric, and by Gerald. Eric is the black sheep of the family, and when Mrs B says whoever did the actions of Eric would be "entirely responsible", and then it was interesting to see how the 'upper class' family reacted to this. Whether they would protect their family, or their pride. When they chose their pride, it was an important message by Priestley demonstrating how it all worked back in 1912 in terms of classes. ...read more.

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