An Inspector Calls is often spoken as a play with a message. Examine how J.B Priestly explores these messages and presents them to the audience?

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An Inspector Calls is often spoken as a play with a message. Examine how J.B Priestly explores these messages and presents them to the audience?

In this essay, I’m going to try and answer the question above and discuss how JB Priestly expresses this opinion. An Inspector Calls is a play about a young girl named Eva Smith who faces many trials and tribulations caused by the Burling family which eventually leads to her committing suicide. When an Inspector comes to interrogate the family, we then learn one by one what each member of the Burling family has done and how it has affected Eva’s life.

JB Priestly wrote the play An Inspector Calls in 1945 just before the end of world war two. However, the play is set in 1912; before the start of world war one. The play is set in Brumley, England when people were trying to rebuild England as the war was coming to an end. The audience of this play during the late forties would’ve disliked the remarks Arthur Birling made about both world wars and the Titanic as they would’ve most likely lost some family members or acquaintances during this time. “You will hear some people say war is inevitable, I say to that- fiddlesticks”. He also says “Titanic, unsinkable!” Priestly is trying to suggest that those who were regarded as upper class were ignorant. Also, he may imply that Mr Birling is a man who can talk but not much sense comes out. This quote is an example of dramatic irony used to mock Mr Birling’s views on capitalism.

The message of the play is “we are all responsible for each other and must think before we act.” In addition we are all responsible for our own actions. Priestly shows this via the Inspector and how he interrogates each family member to make them feel guilty. However, it is evident that Sheila and Eric feel remorse for their actions whereas the elder Birling’s feel as though their actions were perfectly acceptable. This may imply that the inspector has completed his job as the younger characters feel guilty about their actions, they may teach the next generation this message of responsibility in which, the society of future generations will have fewer characters like Arthur Birling.

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Mr Birling is portrayed as a greedy and selfish man. He is pleased about the engagement of Sheila and Gerald Croft as he sees this as a business opportunity. "Crofts and Birling’s are no longer competing but are working together for lower costs and higher prices.” In front of his family, Mr Birling acts like a powerful man because of his business but in comparison to Mr Croft business Croft’s limited, his business is very little. That’s why he wants both businesses to merge together so he can maximise profits. This also suggests that Mr Birling only cares about ...

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