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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What was Priestley's aim in writing an Inspector Calls? How successfully does he achieve his aim? Priestley had more than one aim in writing 'An Inspector Calls' however he did have one main aim, which was to voice his own socialist views. From 1939 to 1940 Priestley broadcast his own radio show that he used to express his opinions about society and morality. This BBC radio show was banned in 1940 because many people did not agree with socialists and their ideas of equality during the Second World War. Priestley then had to find another vehicle for his own moral and social views: his plays. In his plays Priestley could make his message more subtle than in a radio show. This way of voicing his views let Priestley involve the audience in them therefore trying to teach the audience a lesson by making them question their own behaviour. Priestley's ultimate intention was to make 'An Inspector Calls' entertaining but also didactic, which was a much more effective way of presenting his opinions than preaching them through the media. Another of Priestley's aims in writing 'An Inspector Calls' was to illustrate the division between the upper and lower classes. When deciding the date that the play would be set in, Priestley obviously thought of a time when this division was more obvious than in 1946 when the play was written. This is why it is set in 1912. This helps Priestley to explain the relationship between the two classes and how the upper class treat the lower class in a less than moral way demonstrating that there is no link between class and morality. ...read more.

Middle

Alderman Meggarty especially has a very bad reputation among people of the same class: 'He's a notorious womanizer as well as being one of the worst sots and rogues in Brumley -.' This shows that Gerald and Eric are not alone in the behaviour they demonstrate in their involvement with Eva Smith. All of the Birlings and Gerald Croft are used by Priestley to show the audience how people of the upper class regularly abuse their power and how class certainly doesn't determine moral behaviour. Eva Smith is a representative of the lower class and how it reacts to the upper class. She is very strong-willed as she demonstrates through all of her involvement with the Birlings and Gerald but the upper class don't like this which is why she is so unfortunate. With Mr Birling she stands up for what she believes is right when she leads a strike for higher pay but gets fired for doing it. With Sheila she tries to be polite and kind but, just because of her good looks, is fired from working in the shop. With Gerald she is very grateful for his generosity but he breaks off the relationship as he doesn't really love her and never intended that it would be anything more than an affair. With Eric she is only trying to earn some money but when she finds out that Eric is stealing it and he doesn't love her at all she leaves. With Mrs Birling she only asks for help because she is in a terrible situation but she gets refused help as Mrs Birling is prejudiced against her. ...read more.

Conclusion

He seems more concerned with what is right and wrong rather than what is legal and this moral dimension makes him different to a usual police inspector: 'We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.' Priestley uses the well-known 'whodunnit?' genre so that the audience can recognise and understand it well however he manages to make it his own which helps 'An Inspector Calls' to be more successful as a play. In doing this Priestley also made his play more successful as a vehicle for voicing his views, as he was able to make it his own and therefore include his own feelings in it. Priestley especially chose this genre for these specific reasons. By only having one focus throughout the whole of 'An Inspector Calls' which slowly progresses Priestley is able to keep the audience involved by giving them things to think about but by still using the same focal point. At the beginning of the play the idea that Mr Birling does not agree with everyone being united is established and then built on when the Inspector arrives and during his final speech when he proclaims that 'We are all responsible for each other.' Priestley intentionally began 'An Inspector Calls' as a naturalistic play but only to become more unnatural as it progressed. This brings up many questions from the audience who thought they knew what was happening then suddenly find they don't. For example, the Inspector seems realistic but becomes less so as the play progresses. This is a successful way to write a play because it gives the audience a reason to be interested in it allowing the writer to form a successful and educational play. Ruth Whitford 1 ...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. Inspector Calls A Grade

    the marriage between Sheila and Gerald was just business, although the pair did have feelings for each other, Birling is more interested in the fact that it's an advantageous match. Another example which reflects Birling's attitude is where he learns that Sheila, his daughter may have some involvement in the death of Eva Smith.

  2. In what ways does Priestley explore responsibility in An Inspector Calls?

    Had the countries been able to live together then there would not have been a war. The fact that the play was written in the midst of the Second World War suggests that Priestly was saying that the lessons of what happened in the First World War had not been learned.

  1. An Inspector Calls. Explore the social and political views of the Birlings and the ...

    This is evident in the text when Sheila says, "well, he inspected us all right. And don't lets start dodging and pretending now. Between us we drove that girl to commit suicide." Here Sheila is getting agitated that its too late and what has been done and she still believes

  2. What is Priestley's main aim in ' An Inspector Calls' and how successfully does ...

    This shows that the Inspector was sent to the Birlings to teach them about responsibility.

  1. 'An Inspector Calls' is a play with important messages for any society'. Explore the ...

    Priestley wanted his audiences to think about what they would have done in that situation; if they had made those mistakes would they learnt from them, cover them up or take full responsibility. Priestley is making people ponder over the play after the curtain falls and to think about whether they have done things wrong and how can they learn.

  2. What was J.BPriestley's Intention in Writing 'An Inspector Calls', and How Has His Intention ...

    There was indeed a "spring of innocent aspiration and good will" that could not be sealed. The message that J.B Priestley was trying to communicate is reflected in the personalities and actions of the characters within the play. Such as Mr Birling, who thinks of himself as a "Hard-headed businessman".

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

    Gerald Gerald is part of the Croft family, which is why Mr. Birling likes him so much (hoping to join forces with Gerald's fathers company and climb higher up the social ladder.) He seems to be the same capitalist, un-ethical type of person as Mr.

  2. Write a letter from Priestley to a colleague explaining his reasons for, and his ...

    Titanic, which he never anticipated to happen, even though, we as a modern audience know differently. Another aspect which I considered whilst writing the play was the structure itself. I decided to write in the form of 3 acts, with all the acts taking place at the same location and on the same date.

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