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What were Priestley's aims in writing 'An Inspector Calls' and how successful was he in achieving those aims?

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What were Priestley's aims in writing 'An Inspector Calls' and how successful was he in achieving those aims? Drama has been here since the Greek times. It is very popular among all age groups. The main aims of a drama are to entertain and to provide a message to the audience. 'Romeo and Juliet' is one of the most popular dramas to date. It is of a romance genre and it is greatly appreciated even now. It was written by one of the greats, Shakespeare, in the year 1595. The drama that we have in discussion is of a very popular genre, murder mysteries. Very prominent examples of this kind of genre are the books written by Agatha Christie & Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. JB Priestly has employed this theme to attract an audience of all age groups. As well as entertaining us, he provides a moral message He manages to provide a social, moral and political message. In order to this he has employed a highly structured play. The author puts up a social, moral and political message in front of the audience. The play An Inspector Calls was written in 1945 within a week of World War Two ending but is set before World War One. ...read more.


It was of a murder mystery genre and this was a plus point. After the entry of the inspector, it was an absolute thriller. The character of Inspector Goole is the catalyst for the evening's events: he is described as creating 'an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness...' The inspector interrogates each character in turn. With each of them, he makes a point that they have acted selfishly and used Eva Smith for their own purposes and they have not thought about the effect they have had on her life. The story unfolds slowly with multiple suspects arising. The clever inspector manages to keep the audience in suspense. As in p22 he says, "You heard what I said before Mr. Croft. One line of inquiry at a time." He keeps on frightening them by mentioning Eva Smith's death again and again. He catches Gerald off guard by mentioning Eva Smith's other name. There is rising tension as at the end of Act one, the inspector enters the room and quotes, "Well?" Although Mrs. Birling remains cold throughout his questioning, he succeeds in making her unknowingly blame Eric. At the end of Act two, the tension arises dramatically as Eric enters, looking extremely pale and distressed. ...read more.


The Inspector's speech would have provoked much discussion amongst the audience because of the powerful language used and because he left the scene directly after speaking. The audience may discuss between themselves whether or not they agree with the Inspectors speech. If they already do they probably feel quite pleased with themselves and if not they might feel guilty and ashamed. Priestley has wonderfully presented a tightly structured play. JB Priestley's aims were to provide a social, moral, & political message, to entertain the audience and to present a structured piece of drama. In my opinion, he has been very successful in fulfilling those aims. "We are members of one body, we are responsible for each other." This is the sentence taken from the inspector's last speech and I think that it sums up exactly what Priestley was trying to get across. Priestley leaves the play unclosed leaving the audience to think about the play and draw their own conclusions. This is a very good tactic by Priestley as it makes people to think about what they saw and hopefully make them realize that some aspects of their life should be changed for the good of humanity. I think that this play would have made an impact on the audience, considering the fact that the country had just suffered a Second World War. -Siddharth Ganji G9 ...read more.

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