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An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

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An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

The play "An Inspector calls" was written by J.B. Priestly in 1945. It

was set in a Midland Industrial town in 1912. The plot of this

dramatic play is based around a visit by an inspector to an apparently

normal and well-respected family. All the characters are affected by

the death of Eva Smith, but Sheila Birling shows the greatest remorse

and changes the most. In this essay, I will discuss how Sheila changes

during the play and her role in the death of Eva Smith. I am also

going to briefly discuss about the other characters.

In the play "An Inspector calls", each character reacts differently.

Mr Birling, Sheila's father is arrogant and outspoken about his

self-centred beliefs of the world "a man has to mind his own business

and look after his own." He is less vocal as the inspector starts

questioning them and appears somehow ashamed as the story develops.

His involvement

In Eva Smiths' case is that he sacked her from a job she needed

dearly. The inspector mentions that this plays a part in her suicide.

However at the end, when the inspector departs he returns to his old

self, choosing to ignore the inspector's lesson. He puts it aside

stating the fact that Goole was a "hoax". He is only concerned on how

it might have

Affected his knighthood.

Lady Birling, is the most reluctant to admit her guilt in the girl's

Death. She is portrayed as determined but narrow minded, out of touch

with what really happens. Her involvement in the case was that she

rejected Eva at a time of need. This was the final straw before her

suicide. The most Mrs Birling bends towards sympathy is to say: " I'...

... middle of paper ...

... questions the values and attitudes of her parents, reflect the

changing attitudes of the younger generation and increase in women's

independence. The only other person that shares her attitude is Eric.

This shows that the younger generations are more open-minded and are

able to learn from their mistakes and change. The older generation is

being forced to learn appropriate values of life by the younger

generation. Priestly uses Sheila and Eric to represent socialists who

can bring hope to the future.

To sum it all up, Sheila changes the most in "An Inspector Calls". She

helps the inspector in bringing out and questioning different people's

views of life. Priestly uses Sheila to express his views about

capitalism. He uses Sheila to show the audience that there is room for

change to bring about a better future for all.
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