• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9

Would You Agree That the Play Is One Big Metaphor?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Would you agree that the play is one big metaphor? (Minimum 1500 words) A metaphor is where you take an object and compare it with something else, either being another object or an idea. A metaphor can be simply one-liners, such as "the evening of a lifetime," "the river of time," or "food for thought". They can also entail many ideas, all carefully structured to give the impression or concept of something else. A metaphor is a figure of speech that goes further than a simile, either by saying that something behaves or appears in a certain way that it could be described, using a shared quality, it also adds a new meaning. Shakespeare used a lot of metaphors and similes in his plays and monologues and one of his best is "All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts..." In my opinion, the play, "An Inspector Calls" is a very good example of an extended metaphor, which is carefully written to put over a point of view in a clever and imaginative way. Priestley uses the role of an Inspector and how he associates with the middle class Birling family, a higher level respectively of society, as a metaphor of how the social classes related in the early 20th century. The middle classes show no sign of a conscience with regards to the lower classes, there is also a great sense of superiority. A conscience is an inner voice that tells us whether we have done right or wrong, so social conscience is the way we treat and react with one another among the population. The author, J.B. Priestley first produced the play in 1944, but the actual play is set in 1912. In 1928 women first got the vote, but before that they were just ornaments, they couldn't work, couldn't vote and had to rely on a man to look after them financially, the only thing that women could have going for them was good looks. ...read more.

Middle

In hindsight we can see that the "fire and blood and anguiosh" that the Inspector was describing happened in the case of the First World War. This had started because the countries of Europe, instead of existing together had formed themselves into two camps, with the countries within them allied together. Serbia was Russia's ally, who was also on the side of Britain and France, who had both promised to protect Belguim. Austria and Germany (and later Italy) were also allies. When Austria attacked Serbia, the Russians declared war on Austria and the Germans invaded Belgium, send Britain and France into battle. The result was a hellish war in which millions died. 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 Priestley was saying that the lessons of what happened in World War One had not been learnt, for which World War Two inevitably occurred. The genre of this play would seem to be a murder mystery, written in a literal and 'sensible' manner, which you believe could happen in real-life, only if you take the book at face value. You could argue the fact that the Inspector was just a normal man, with little bits of information from here and there within the public and help form Eva/Daisy, had plotted and schemed the whole thing up. As the characters argue:- Mrs. Birling "He never talked like one. He never even looked like one." Birling "That definitely wasn't a police Inspector at all." Inspector - "I'm losing all my patience with you people," (Page 56). A real police Inspector wouldn't be able to speak to you like that, or he could lose his licence. Stage directions - Sheila [to Inspector] stares at him wonderingly and dubiously. Sheila (Slowly) "You mustn't try to build up a wall between us and that girl. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another example of this ignorance is the fact that neither has heard of the Palace Bar, where both Gerald and Eric met Eva/Daisy whilst the men definitely do. To answer the question of "Is the play really a metaphor?" I can conclude that the answer is yes. In my interpretation of the play, there is no right or wrong person to blame for Eva's death and this is this message that Priestley wants to put across. The fact that the Inspector didn't really exist doesn't really matter, the way that one family's actions affected a poor young girl still remains a fact. Mr and Mrs Birling don't think they have done anything wrong and go back to their old conceited ways once the inspector is disproved. Actually, I believe that it should make the visit an even more dramatic experience for them. It gives the inspector a supernatural quality, sent as a messenger from God to change the way these people lived their lives. Arthur Birling represents Priestley's hared of businessmen who are only interested in making money. 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 think about what they saw, hopefully making them realise that aspects of their life should be changed for the good of humanity. Now that you can see whom the Inspector had an effect on and whom he made no impact on at all. He had a tremendous effect on Sheila and not so much on Birling. The play promotes a socialist idea through the Inspector very well. Overall it is a very clever play, making the audience think, not just of themselves, but others as well. Priestley touched the conscience of me and made me realise that every action has a reaction. Even if the only person it has affected throughout the world is me, through his beliefs and teachings, I could put his practise into my preaching and help benefit others. 1 1 Stephanie Boot 10G Mr. Vernon ...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. Discussthe role of the Inspector in the play 'An Inspector Calls'

    The actor in this role would need to be able to illustrate this or the character will have less dramatic influence. 'The inspector makes more of an impression on the younger characters that the older ones. Show two contrasting characters.

  2. Write about Sheila Birling her role in the play, character and relationships

    When the Inspector is revealed to be a fake, she realises that this is not the end of the matter, and that the message the Inspector gave them is still a valid lesson to be learnt, whether he was real or not, because "he inspected (them)

  1. How does the character of Sheila Birling, develop throughout this play?

    Sheila: Mother - I begged you and begged you to stop. (Act 2, page 49) This was the last line of Act 2, and by this point, everyone knows that everyone in the family played a part in killing that girl, and there was no escaping it.

  2. What effect does the visit of Inspector Goole have on the Birling family? How ...

    When it turns out that everything could be a hoax. Birling pretends nothing has happened. He hasn't learnt a lesson at all, he thinks if he pretends life is the same and that everything is normal no one will notice anything is wrong.

  1. How does the play highlight the contrasts between the different philosophies of Arthur Birling ...

    looking hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking" Birling tends to ramble, bluster and repeat himself. The Inspector, therefore comes across as a much more intelligent, serious and thoughtful man. Although we never meet Eva Smith in the play you can't help but feel sorry for her from the start.

  2. An inspector calls - How well does Sheila's comment explain the action of the ...

    him being an inspector, it just concludes to the point that in that period of time rich people had connections with the police however this time is not so successful. Also the next point it shows how the inspector dominates Mr Birling.

  1. Consider the ways in which Priestley's portrayal of Inspector Goole an the way in ...

    these fake thoughts and feelings, Mr Birling in particular is very guilty of the selfish capitalist opinions which contrast to Priestley's and later the Inspector's opinions. When the inspector calls on the Birling family, they, and Gerald Croft are in the midst of a family celebration, all are dressed in

  2. "Public men, Mr Birling, have their responsibilities as well as their privileges." Show how ...

    Below the upper class were the middle classes (doctors, merchants, shop workers and clerks), after that came the craftsmen and skilled workers. At the very bottom of the social ladder was the largest class of all - the ordinary workers and the poor; many lived below the poverty level.

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