How does An Inspector Calls highlight the theme of responsibility?

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How does the play highlight the theme of responsibility?

‘An Inspector Calls’ was written in 1942 by J.B. Priestley, however, the play was based in 1912 and the author uses hindsight to create irony within the play. The main themes of the play are responsibility and conscience, the importance of it is taught by the inspector.

The play is written around the story of a poor lower class girl who always seems to be fighting against the Birling’s power. Each of the Birlings contribute towards making Eva/Daisy’s life miserable, unintentionally pushing her towards committing suicide. Despite their actions and the Inspectors disapproval some of the Birlings and their daughter’s fiancé, Gerald, refuse to take responsibility and treat the whole thing as a joke not to be learnt from.

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The first person to be questioned is Mr Birling. Just before the Inspector’s arrival he was giving the two younger men life advice, ‘A man has to look after himself,’ this is the opposite of the lesson the Inspector is determined to teach them. Mr Birling is far from innocent setting off ‘a chain of events’ by sacking Eva Smith when she is involved in a strike within his business. Sadly, he never accepts responsibility for his actions claiming it all ‘a load of nonsense.’

The next to be targeted is Sheila. The Birling’s daughter. At the beginning of the ...

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