How does Priestley make the Inspectors final speech so powerful? By Arjun N 10H
“But just remember this. One Eva Smith has gone - but there are millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths left with us, with their lives, their hopes and fears, their suffering and a chance of happiness, all intertwined with our lives and what we think and say and do. We don't live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish. Good night.”
In the Inspectors final speech, the inspector is showcased as a strong socialist, who basically translates what Priestley has to say, and Priestley emphasizes his left winged views through the inspector. This is shown by the repetition of the word ‘millions’, which suggests that there are masses of people who are in the same vulnerable state as Eva Smith, and this is also shown by the listing of simple, plain names resembling Eva’s own. Meaning that they may be in the same predicament, and to represent the rest of the lower struggling classes. The plurals are stressed to show that there are many in her circumstances. This could suggest that the Birlings are advised by the Inspector to not be so self contained, and instead should be out there helping the people less fortunate than themselves. J.B. Priestley writes that they are “left with us” which gives the audience a sense of responsibility seeing that the personal pronoun ‘us’ unites everyone and makes everyone feel equally responsible and involved within the society, and this idea of shared responsibility is continued with the repetition of the personal pronoun ‘we’. The verb ‘left’ suggests that someone has to take responsibility for caring for these members of society and Priestley makes the audience feel a connection with people like Eva as we feel it is now our duty to help those like her. Priestley is obviously feels very strongly about the way the government works, and we can see that he is against that from the way he portrays the inspector, and this is also shown when he talks about the desideratum for the society to work together, no matter their status’; "We are responsible for each other". From this, we are led to believe that in order to create a fair society, it must be built upon the foundations of equality and for the community to work together, and not just for themselves.