An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

1947 Words8 Pages
An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

An Inspector Calls is the tale of a wealthy manufacturer who is

holding a dinner party for his daughter’s engagement. Into this cosy,

what seems secure scene, appears a harsh police inspector

investigating the suicide of young working class woman. Under the

pressure of his thorough investigations, every member of the Birling

family is revealed to have a shameful secret that finally led to the

corruption, and consequent death of this young woman, Eva Smith.

Priestly attempts to convey his attitudes and ideas through his

characters and their behaviour in the play. Quite importantly, J.B

Priestly was a socialist with strong socialist ideas and tendencies.

An Inspector Calls’ actually incorporates a mass of Presley’s

socialist ideals, and a whole network of underlying morals surface in

connection with the apparent storyline.

The inspector is used to symbolise Priestly and his liberal ideas of

equality and fairness, and through the inspector, Priestly's main aim

was to encourage people to take responsibility for their actions, not

to shift the blame on to others. The Birling's on the other hand are

used to demonstrate the ignorant, perhaps arrogant side of seemingly

perfect upper-class families, taking advantage of lower classes and

exploiting their rights for their own financial or social status.

Priestly established each of his characters in the play the way he

thought people were. The Birling's were very worried about

appearances. The way they dressed and how their house was decorated.

Their house had 'good solid furniture of the period'. `The general

effect is substantial and heavily co...

... middle of paper ...

... Mrs.Birling

quite disturbing.

However, I think that despite the initial wrong doings of Eric and

Sheila, and the mistakes they made previous to Eva’s death, the

audience is understanding and are pleased at how some good has come of

the whole ordeal. Eric and Sheila have seen what small-minded views

their parents harbour and have learnt that all actions make

consequences, as so when making decisions, you must think how they

might effect other people.

In conclusion, we can say that Priestly hints to the audience that the

Birling’s will have to take on board, and that they will, have to

listen, or there will be lots of difficulty and pain to follow. The

play finishes with an extraordinary ending where a real police officer

turns up at the door, leaving the ultimate ending open for the

individual to conclude.
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