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Write a character study, using the text for reference, to show how Priestley uses Inspector Goole’s character to convey his own opinions and attitudes.

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Write a character study, using the text for reference, to show how Priestley uses Inspector Goole's character to convey his own opinions and attitudes. J B Priestley was born in Bradford, Yorkshire on 13 September 1894. He wrote 'An Inspector Calls' in 1945, post-world war II, but the play was set in 1912. The play was written in a week, the very week after the Second World War had ended. Priestley believed in socialism, that people should look after themselves, other people and their community. He used the character of Inspector Goole to express this opinion. "We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other." The theme of this play is the effects of an individual's actions and the responsibility for their consequences. The play focuses around the mysterious suicide of a poor, young, working-class girl called Eva Smith. ...read more.


He unfolds the plot using a series of interrogations, questioning each character in turn, starting with the father, Mr Birling. It soon becomes clear that everyone is responsible for Eva Smith's suicide in different ways. Mr Birling has a tendency to be rather patronising towards the poor and the working class. He seems to be a contradiction of Priestley's views and opinions. " a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own - and -" Throughout the play there are several references, from both Inspector Goole and the Birling Family, to support and contradict Priestley's views of socialism. Before the Inspector leaves he tells all of the characters to remember the dead girl and remember what they had done. "This girl killed herself - and died a horrible death. But each of you helped to kill her. ...read more.


Priestley wants to show the upper-class audience that they can't abuse their position of power to exploit and use those poorer or lower down on the social scale than them. He believed something should be done or there would be a serious repercussion, and he didn't want all the suffering he and countless others went through in the war to be worthless. He wanted the social system to change and wanted people to be more responsible for their actions. When the Inspector left, Sheila and Eric were distressed. They were both fully aware of their responsibilities for the people around them and understood that a lesson had to be learnt from the Inspector's visit. Priestley shows them learning and changing their attitudes and beliefs about people and society in a hope that the audiences' future attitudes to others would too be changed. This play was a warning to an audience in 1945 not to repeat the selfish mistakes that led to the "fire and blood and anguish" of two World Wars. ...read more.

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