preview

An Inspector Calls

Satisfactory Essays
An Inspector calls is set in 1912 and was written for a 1946 audience.

What can it have to offer an audience in 2002? An Inspector calls.

'An Inspector calls' was written by J.B. Priestly in 1945, and was

first shown to an audience in 1946. It was set in 1912, before the

Second World War had started, and was to be shown, after the Second

World War had ended. 'An inspector calls' is a dramatic, moralistic

thriller. It is set around the death of a young woman: Eva Smith. The

play begins with the Birling family celebrating the engagement of

their daughter Sheila, to the wealthy Gerald Croft. In this part of

the play you learn a lot about the social system of that era, the way

people acted, and the way they thought.

The doorbell, and the arrival of an Inspector interrupt their

'celebration'. From now on the mood changes, contrasting the

light-hearted and happy mood; it now becomes tense and serious. The

Inspector reveals each characters involvement in the death of Eva

Smith, side by side with the flaws and evils in each characters'

personality. This slowly reveals to the audience that the Inspector is

a lot more then he seems, and that the play is not only a 'murder

mystery', but also resembles a moralistic play of the middle ages, but

in it's own socialistic manner. It also shows the flaws in the social

system at the times, which are displayed in each character, and in the

consequences of their acts. The audience are shown how some people

ignore the reality of their actions, and even after seeing the

consequence of their actions, refuse to change. Mr and Mrs Birling are

portrayed as selfish and ignorant of their actions, while Sheila and

Eric, as a contrast, have fully realised their mistakes and have

changed the way they think. The inspector is successful in changing

two of the characters, but is not successful in the rest. Priestly is

in a way playing the Inspector, to his audience, showing them the

consequences of their actions, and what will happen if they do not

change. 'An Inspector calls' has many underlying messages, most of

which are still relevant to us today.

The question as to whether 'An inspector calls' is out of date, is a

long argued and debated question. Both sides of the argument have

valid points, and in order to come to a fair decision, you must

consider both these sides of the argument. I am going to consider

three statements about 'An Inspector calls' and after studying each

one, am gong to come up with a decision.
Get Access