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An Inspector Calls

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An Inspector Calls "An Inspector Calls" by J.B Priestley is a play about an inspector questioning a family about the suicide of Eva Smith. At the beginning of the play the Birling are celebrating the engagement of Sheila and Gerald. They are interrupted by Inspector Goole who informs them that an Eva Smith has committed suicide. The Birling family all deny an involvement but Inspector Goole manages to piece together the facts that in some way they were all involved in her death. When Inspector Goole leaves they all question whether he was a real inspector or not. Gerald, who had left the house, comes back with the information that he wasn't a real inspector after all. Then at the very end of the play the Birling family receive a telephone call that an Eva Smith has just committed suicide and an inspector will be coming to question them. John Boynton Priestley was on of the most popular, versatile and important authors of his day. Although he never wrote a bona fide masterpiece his work was still highly valued. he wrote sixteen novels but it was as a playwright and political/social thinker that Priestley was especially important. Politically Priestley was a patriotic socialist and he was passionately convinced of the need for social change to benefit the poor. During World War II his weekly broadcasts expressed his faith in ordinary people and he felt that "An Inspector Calls" helped labour win the election after the war (1945). As a socialist Priestley believed that we are all responsible for each other. I think that Priestley has written this play to convince people that his views as a socialist are correct. The fact he wrote the play in 1945 yet set the play in 1912 was so he could make the ideas of Mr. Birling seem ridiculous with the use of hindsight. Mr. Birling talks about how there won't be a war, no problems with worker relations and how strong the Titanic is. All of Birling's ideas are shot down because there was a war with Germany, there was a general strike and the Titanic sank on it's maiden voyage. In turn this makes the Inspector's and Priestley's ideas of socialism seem correct. Priestley also wrote this play to make people realise that they are responsible for their own actions. Some of the characters in the play do not accept the fact that they were partly responsible for the death of Eva Smith. Eric and Sheila knew they had done wrong and regretted their part in her death. Sheila says, "And I know I'm to blame-and I'm desperately sorry." This indicates that Sheila wants to change her ways.
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