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GCSE: J.B. Priestley
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John Boynton Priestley's biography
- 1 He was born in Yorkshire in 1894. He left school at sixteen because he believed that the world outside the classroom would help him become a writer. He said that it was the years 1911-14 ‘that set their stamp upon me’.
- 2 When World War One broke out in 1914, Priestley joined the infantry and by the time he left the army in 1919, he had seen active front-line service and narrowly escaped being killed. These experiences were to influence his future writing.
- 3 When he left the army he went to Cambridge University and although he finished his degree, he did not like academia and went to London to work as a freelance writer.
- 4 He soon became a successful writer of essays and novels and in 1932 he wrote his first play Dangerous Corner to prove that he could adapt his style for the stage. He soon established himself as a leading figure in the London theatre.
- 5 When World War Two broke out in 1939 Priestley continued to write his plays, while also writing and broadcasting on BBC radio. During this time he was producing his best work and wrote An Inspector Calls (1945) about the effects of an individual’s actions and the consequences of those actions.
- Marked by Teachers essays 21
He finds the things his family say funny, even if there is no joke. He laughs aloud when the conversation turns to Gerald and his ?work?. This indicates that he is aware of Gerald?s philandering. He is quite naive, in no way as worldly or as cunning as Gerald Croft. He may be jealous of the fact that Mr Birling seems to be much more interested in Gerald than his own son. There is another awkward moment when Gerald, Birling and Eric are chatting about women's love of clothes before the Inspector arrives.
- Word count: 1687
Priestly presents Mr Birling like this so the audience realises the older generation are stuck in their ways and can?t accept responsibility for their actions, because in their view they are always right. Priestly presents Mrs Birling in a similar way, Mrs Birling doesn?t accept responsibility because she doesn?t like the lower class and believes it is there fault they are in the situations they get into, for example she say?s ?girls of that class? which shows she is like her husband and won?t have anything to do with accepting responsibility or the lower class.
- Word count: 1121
This may also be a sign of subtext that Mrs. Birling also might be dissatisfied with the social gap between her and husband. This could perhaps be a subtler view of Priestley?s about the lack of cohesiveness between classes in society. Relationship with Sheila Despite her daughter being a grown woman who is in the process of marrying, Mrs Birling is of the view that Sheila is incapable of speaking for herself. When Sheila ?(half serious, half playful)? criticises Gerald for ?not coming near me last summer? Mrs Birling doesn?t pick up on the ?playful? nature of her daughter?s remarks
- Word count: 1080