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Essay On An Inspector Calls By J.B.Priestley

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Priestley's Socialist Ideas in An Inspector Calls

'An Inspector Calls' is, in many ways, a vehicle used by Priestley to spread and promote his socialist views. By utilising the characters' various dispositions and juxtaposing them against one and other, he highlights his message and creates a powerful dramatic piece. By employing such techniques as dramatic irony, hindsight and a clever setting, Priestley sends his eye-opening message and keeps both reader and audience interested through the stunning revelations at the end of each act.

The play is about an upper-middle class family that is visited by an inspector regarding the suicide of a young woman by the name of Eva Smith. The inspector…show more content…

Further alienating him from the audience (and thusly making he and his views seem less stable and unreliable; which then seems a terrible way to run society), are the things he says about the Titanic being: 'unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable.'

The amount of things that Birling says things that the audience knows to be false, all aid in discrediting capitalist viewpoints. In doing so, Priestley causes the audience to wonder if society shouldn't be run in another way; maybe they should vote try Labour.

By humiliating Birling like this, Priestley degrades the conservative and capitalist viewpoints. This is intended to make people rethink their current political standpoint and reconsider the labour party for power. In contrast to this, is the Inspector who is clearly a socialist. The Inspector reminds us of our responsibilities for each other:

'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.'

By making the Inspector say this, Priestley shows how sensible the socialist ideal is. He makes people realise that we need to look after each other and that this will not happen under conservative power.

This speech is juxtaposed against Birling's

Essay about An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

1968 Words8 Pages

An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

One of the most important themes which Priestley conveys in An Inspector Calls, is that we all share responsibility for other people's welfare, and that wealthy people have obligations to look after those less fortunate than themselves. Not only does Mr Birling represent this aspect of selfishness, but also when he begins to transmit these principles to the younger generation the Inspector calls to teach an alternative way of thinking and behaving. Although the mysterious Inspector Goole is a police officer, his final speech shows that he is far more concerned with the morals of the Birling family:…show more content…

But after all it's better to ask for the earth then to take it.

One important device, which Priestley uses to manipulate his audience, is the use of time. The play is set in 1912, but it was written and performed more than thirty years later. This allows Priestley to make Mr Birling seem even more ridiculous, as he says things that we know, in hindsight, to be false. In doing this, Priestley has helped us to discredit all his attitudes, not just his mistaken comments about the war and the Titanic; 'unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable'. This is a device called dramatic irony, where there is a discrepancy between the way things are and the words a character uses.

Notice too, how the play is set in a real-life household and happens in 'real' time. This makes the audience feel that what they are seeing is actually happening. They are experiencing realistic social issues through the eyes of a single family - which has become like a miniature world, and although all the events occur in a middle class and prosperous home, the play draws attention to the contrasts of factory life, squalor and lives of poverty and misery. The inspector is not only talking to the characters in the play but also to the audience. The way the inspector makes aware of these ideas creates dramatic tension. In adding the fact that the inspector disproves the characters also creates dramatic tension.

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