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What reactions does Priestley intend the audienceto have to the content of the play? How does he set about achieving them? Doyou think he is successful in achieving his intentions? Do you think a modernaudience would react in the same way? J.B. Pri...

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What reactions does Priestley intend the audience to have to the content of the play? How does he set about achieving them? Do you think he is successful in achieving his intentions? Do you think a modern audience would react in the same way? J.B. Priestley wants the audience to understand social responsibility, that everyone's actions have consequences. This play was first performed in 1946 but it was set in 1912 before both of the wars. In 1946 the Second World War had just ended so the audience would have welcomed the idea of social responsibility. When World War Two ended the people in Britain were unwilling to go back to the way the country was before. Previously to the war the social class of people was very important. Rich people had more opportuities and rights than poor people. In the war rich and poor people fought side-by-side against the enemy so the class barriers were broken down. When the soldiers returned to Britain they were promised 'a land fit for Heros' but it turned out that the goverment just wanted Britain to go back to normal. The people did not want to go back to the way the country was before the war so in the next election they voted the Conservatives out (who led them through the war) and the labour party in. They did this because labour promised everything that the people of Britain wanted but did not have. ...read more.


- Mrs Birling Mrs Birling, like her husband does not change when she finds out the inspector was a fake: "In the morning they'll be as amused as we are." - Mrs Birling. Here, she is talking about Eric and Shiela because they do not agree with their parents and do not find the death of Eva Smith amusing. Shiela, unlike her parents does change, even when she finds out that the inspector is a fake: "Everything we said had happened really did happened." - Shiela. At the beginning of the play Shiela is young, attractive and has just become engaged. She is also a spoilt young woman. She gets Eva Smith sacked from her second job, after her fathers mill, at Milwards. Shiela had Eva sacked bacuse she was jealous of her. Eva looked better in a dress than Shiela so Shiela had her sacked out of jealousy. "You might be said to have been jealous of her." - Inspector "Yes I suppose I was." - Shiela. When Shiela realises the consequences of her actions, that it was Eva's last proper job, she begins to change. She realises that the class or status of a person does not matter. "You mustn't try to build up a kind of wall between us and that girl." - Shiela. Shiela knows that the inspector will find out anything that he wants to know. ...read more.


This was a good way of communicating Priestley's views to the audience. At the begining of the play it seems like a 'whos done it?' play. As the play goes on it becomes clear to the audience that it is not only one member of the family who is involved in the death of Eva Smith. This conveys the message that everyones actions affect other people. The whole play is set in one room, which means that the action does not move. This means that the audience could focus on the drama and the characters. The room is furnished in posh furniture which contrats with the poverty of Eva Smith: "Substantial and heavily comfortable." The lighting on the stage at the beginning of the play is pink, soft and intimate but as each member of the family's actions become clear the lighting becomes harsher, harder and brighter: "The lighting should be pink and intimate until the inspector arrives, and then it should be brighter and harder." I think that the play An Inspector Calls is a very effective play. J.B. Priestley conveys his views very well and gets the idea of social responsibility across. I did feel sorry for Eva Smith and sympathised for Shiela and Eric because they felt remorse for their actions. Social responsibility still applies to the modern day, we are not classed any more but people's actions still affect other people. I think that the play might not have exactly the same affect on an audience in the modern day but it would have a similar affect. ...read more.

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