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

Why has the play 'An Inspector Calls' remained popular for so long?

Extracts from this document...


Ellie Whidden English Essay 'An inspector Calls' Why has the play 'An Inspector Calls' remained popular for so long? J.B.Priestley 'An Inspector Calls' is a play set in 1912 in the Birling's family dining room. It was written in 1945 and set in Brumley. It features a typical affluent upper class family who own a well run business. The play starts with a small family celebration in which the daughter, Sheila Birling, is getting engaged to Gerald (a business man of the same class). The head of the family, a very prominent opinionated man, makes several toasts to the couple and lectures them about his knowledge of the world. Everything is going cosily until an unexpected visitor turns up on the Birling family's doorstep. It's a very sleek, mysterious inspector. The Inspector brings news of a young girl's suicide. The Birling Family and Gerald first deny all connections with the suicide until the inspector rigorously questions each one of them and their shameful secrets are revealed. One of the reasons why J.B.Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls' has remained popular is because there is some hope for the younger generation. During most of the play the atmosphere is depressing, drab and sad. The play is based on the inspector accusing each member of helping with the suicide of the young girl. The family all concentrate on how it's not their fault. ...read more.


This is shown when the inspector questions Mrs Burling about Eva Smith. When Eva Smith falls pregnant Eric, the father also son to Mrs Burling, realises money is needed and steals some from his father. Mrs Burling states, not knowing Eric has done this, that the decent thing the father should do is marry her, therefore giving her money. Mr Burling also thinks highly of money as he tries to pay the minimum wages to his factory workers therefore earning himself more. At the beginning of act one he talks about how it would be a good idea if his company and Gerald's father's should combined. This idea of his is truly based on how much money he can earn himself. Mrs Burling also seems to crave money, but tries to give you the impression that she is innocent. She tries to shush Mr Burling when he brings this up at the dining table and later suggests that they should talk in private. 'Now Arthur, I don't think you should talk business just quite now.' In 'An Inspector Calls' it is noticeable that everything that J.B.Priestley either features or makes fun of happens today. Today there is prostitution, a big blame society and class structures. Money also plays a big part in the world today. You often see lots of people selling big issues. When a man of middle class walks past someone like this the initial reaction is 'Why are they there, what have they done to make themselves so low.' ...read more.


The type of humour J.B.Priestley uses is little amounts and sparingly. It breaks up the serious ideas in the play and allows the audience to digest the drama easily. The humour mostly features in the part played by the Inspector. I think this is because the audience envisage the inspector as quite a stern man. Like the storyline, Priestly has done this to allow the audience to digest him easily. The inspector says lines like 'We didn't think you meant Buckingham Palace' and 'I don't play golf, it's a shame.' Finally J.B.Priestley's 'An Inspector calls', I think, tries to convey one important message to it's audience; Helping others is the key to success. The play shows a very Christian message of how we need to make today's society better and to prove Margaret Thatcher's saying wrong, and perhaps the views of Mr Burling, 'that there is no such thing as society.' 'An Inspector Calls' is a play which reaches out through the inspector to its audience. The inspector, a very careful but weighty man, shows us that there isn't a need in this world for jealously, shameful secrets or class structures. Through interrogating the rest of the characters he unveils each of their problems and shows us how it is wrong. 'An Inspector Calls' has the ability to engross its audience and to educate them at the same time. It shows us that the lessons we learn from watching and reading this play may make us want to try and rebuild society today. ...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

    Mr Birling saw an opportunity here to boost his financial projections with his company to merge with Gerald Crofts Company, "...working together for lower costs and higher prices". Once again, the benefit of setting the play in 1912 is that the modern audience may see this arrangement as peculiar as

  2. "An Inspector Calls" thoughts of Sheila Birling and Arthur Burling.

    my mother turned her away, I was dismayed with her, when she told the inspector " We've done a great deal of useful work in helping in deserved cases". This was just repulsive, to find that my mother just turned her away because she did not like her and tried

  1. An Inspector Calls' by J.B.Priestley

    Priestley is standing in opposition to Birling's views, so he makes him look as inane as possible by continually being contemptuous towards him through the role of the Inspector. With Birling living in a patriarchal society, men are the dominant sex and Birling feels the need to 'protect' his family,

  2. Inspector calls

    He is highly money orientated as he talks about a business deal with Gerald's Father more than the fact his daughter is to get married "my duty to keep labour costs down" so he does not really care for the lower classes even though he was once in their position.


    This shows us that even though he has been informed that somebody has committed suicide and that it probably is partly his fault, he seems unbothered by the whole situation and is still his normal egotistical' self. He believes that appearance is all important and that if anybody found out

  2. How has watching a production of 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B.Priestley enhanced the script ...

    to resemble the way the Birling's better themselves to other people in society. The pillars could also be used to represent the so-called "pillars of society". At a basic level, the plot is quite simple. The Birling family are celebrating the engagement of their daughter, Sheila Birling, to Gerald Croft when an inspector arrives.

  1. Tale of 2 cities

    This shows no one loves him and he loves no one, it also shows he thinks there is no meaning to love which connects to my other point which is that he is nihilistic. Carton at first has no sense of love in him, "I hate everyone and everyone hates me" that's what his attitude towards love is.

  2. inspector calls

    are having dinner and a celebration they are all in deep shock "just when we were celebration somebody happens to die. When the inspectors there they feel trapped not just in the room but in their mind and they don't want to say anything in case they get accused.

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