'An Inspector Calls' is a very thought provoking and rousing play. It
was obviously written to make a strong point and illustrate the social
gap between classes. This play was written in 1945 and since then,
times and situations have changed enormously. However, this play still
has great relevance today due to the fact that as a country we retain
strong upper class societies who are very definitely detached.
In the following essay, I aim to outline the many arguments and lines
of thought that this play incites. To illustrate this I will use
extracts from the play. I will also use my own thoughts and opinions:
Before the Inspector enters, we are already forming opinions and views
on the characters. Mr Birling seems very worried about wealth and
social ranking. He says to Gerald who is his daughter's fiancÃ©, 'You
ought to like this port Gerald. Finchley told me it's exactly the same
port as your father gets from him.' Gerald's parents have a much
higher social status than Mr Birling, and he is obviously trying to
impress Gerald so he will pass it on to his parents.
Mrs Birling also seems very prudish and stuffy. When Mr Birling makes
a comment about the quality of the meal and asks her to inform the
cook she replies with, 'Arthur, you're not supposed to say such
things-' Although not as obvious as her husband, she is also trying to
make a good impression and convey the fact that she is an important
lady, with wealth and rank.
She is anxious for the marriage between Sheila and Gerald to go ahead
because she is always trying to smooth things over and make it run
smoothly. For example, when Gerald tries to get Sheila to admit how
much he loves her and she does not r...
... middle of paper ...
or show any sorrow or repentance. I think that this shows that older
people find it harder to adjust and some people are just set in their
ways and have no inclination to change.
The play also illustrates and criticises the gap in social stature and
behaviour. If people are believed to be 'upper class' then they treat
anyone below them with disdain and no interest. This play is
illustrating that the Inspector treats both classes with the same
attitude. He treats the Birlings with the same respect or resistance
he would to any other suspect or interviewee. He does not give them
preferential treatment and I think that this is showing how everyone
should treat each other.
The play is criticising the fact that as individuals we do not
consider the consequences of our actions, and that as a society we do
not realise what one action can lead to.
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