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What would Priestley's ideal world be and how does 'An Inspector Calls' show this

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What would Priestley's ideal world be? 'An Inspector calls' is a play, set in 1912, which works on many different levels. On the surface it is a play about an inspection in to the suicide of a girl called Eva Smith and how everyone in the play is involved in the down fall of this girl. However, if you look deeper into the play there is another meaning. It is about the characters having an inspection of their consciences. If you look deeper still, it is a play is not only about Eva Smith alone but about all the people that get hurt by other people's actions. It is about how people abuse their power, status and use their money to achieve what they want and do not think or care about the consequences of their actions. It gives us an idea about what Priestley's ideal world would be and how we should and shouldn't act, by showing the mistakes that the characters make. Priestley makes it very clear that he doesn't like the way that the characters abuse their power and status. Mr Birling abuses his power because although he could have given a pay rise to Eva Smith and the other girls he decided not to. He says 'They wanted the rates raised to twenty shillings a week. I refused, of course.' This shows that although it was in his power to give the girls a raise and make their lives easier he decided that they had enough already. ...read more.


The inspector says 'You're offering money at the wrong time. Mr Birling.' This reveals how Priestly feel that no amount of money can make up for Mr. Birling's mistakes. Similarly, Gerald also believes that the way to make things better is to pay off Daisy Renton. Gerald gave her 'a parting gift of money'; this suggests that he does this as a way to make himself feel better because he didn't feel that if he gave her some money that he had done her as much wrong. Therefore, he uses money as a way of paying off his conscience. Eric also believes that he can pay off Daisy Renton and his own conscience with money. Eric steals money from his father's office in order to give Daisy 'enough money to keep her going'. As with Gerald, this suggests that he gives her this money not just for her benefit but because he too feels that if he gives her some money, things will be better and he will not feel as bad. Sheila also uses money for the wrong reasons but she uses money to get Eva Smith sacked from Milwards. She threatens the manager that she will 'persuade mother to close our account with them'. She uses her power as a customer who spends money regularly in Milwards to get Eva Smith sacked. Priestley also shows how he doesn't like the way that people abuse alcohol. Eric abuses drink and has 'been steadily drinking too much for the past two years'. ...read more.


Similarly, Gerald also uses Daisy Renton; although he uses her for sexual purposes. When the inspector asks 'But she became your mistress?' Gerald replies 'Yes'. This shows how Gerald kept Daisy as his mistress, knowing that he is doing the wrong thing. Eric also uses Eva Smith because he uses her weakness and drunkenness to force his way into her room. When the inspector asks 'was she drunk too' Eric replies 'she told me afterwards that she was a bit'. He uses her drunkenness at the time to over power her and because she was too weak to fight back he succeeds in getting into her room. In conclusion, there are many faults that people make Priestley shows these faults through the mistakes that the characters make. Many of the faults are to do with abuse of power, money, status and people. All of the mistakes that the characters make have a significant effect on the victim of their actions, whether or not Eva Smith is one person or lots of people. In Priestley's ideal world no one would abuse their power money or status; no one would be prejudiced or look down on other. People would think about the consequences of their actions and would avoid doing anything that hurt another person. However, I do not believe Priestley's ideal world will ever by reality and it certainly is not today as people are still hurting other people and people are still making the same mistakes as Arthur, Sybil, Shelia, Eric and Gerald made in An Inspector calls. ?? ?? ?? ?? Isabelle Hawker An Inspector Calls by J.B.Priestley ...read more.

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