Essay The Edwardian Era Exposed in An Inspector Calls

Essay The Edwardian Era Exposed in An Inspector Calls

Length: 1872 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Written in 1947, J.B. Priestley's didactic murder-mystery, An
Inspector Calls, accentuates the fraudulent Edwardian era in which the
play was set. Britain in 1912 was inordinately different to Britain in
1947, where a country annihilated by war was determined to right the
wrongs of a society before them.

In 1912 Britain was at the height of Edwardian society, known as the
"Golden Age". A quarter of the globe was coloured red, denoting the
vast and powerful Empire and all Britons, no matter what class they
belonged to were proud to be British - the "best nation in the world".
Theatres, musicals, proms concerts and films entertained the growing
population. The upper classes led such a lavish life of luxury that
the Edwardian era is now infamous for its elegance, ostentation,
extravagance and sexual license.

However despite the illusions of these secure times this epoch was
full of hypocrisy, prejudice and exploitation. There was a huge divide
between the upper and lower classes and the difference between the
affluent lifestyle the wealthy lived compared to the downtrodden
existence of the poor was remarkable.

In 1947 Britain had just come to the end of a devastating world war
where families had suffered immense losses and society was desperate
for a fairer, more equal lifestyle. Socialism and left-wing Labour
views were becoming increasingly popular and Priestley, himself a
Socialist, was anxious to point out the flaws of a society which
rewarded rich men who openly exploited the poor for profit. He
effectively uses hindsight in his play to ensure the corruption,
hierarchy and discrimination of Edwardian Britain was not repeated.

There is an irrefutable message in Priestley's thriller, a feeling

... middle of paper ...

... was genuine and this allows the audience to
almost predict their own ending; how will the family react to the
arrival of the real Inspector? Will they acknowledge this as a chance
to admit to their mistakes or will they try and conceal their guilt?

I thoroughly enjoyed studying An Inspector Calls and have learned a
great deal about how society has changed and how moral ideals have
evolved over time. I found the play effective although because of the
way in which society has developed Priestley's morals may not be
applicable to life today. As wealth and power have become increasingly
more important socialist feelings of responsibility for one another
have been progressively weakened. However I do feel that we as a
society might be able to learn from some of Priestley's teachings and
work together to form a more equal society for our future generations.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley

- An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley This play was written in 1945 the year World War II finished but the story itself is set in 1912, in which conservative forces continually portrayed the working classes as a threat to capitalism, and capitalists such as Arthur Birling, who is the prime example of a wealthy industrialist. Due to this, the backward-looking government resisted creating any reforms to help the working classes many of which were not able to buy enough food to survive....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1705 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on J.B. Priestley's Hidden Messages in An Inspector Calls

- In ‘An Inspector Calls’ J.B Priestley purposely embeds various messages in the text to voice his thoughts and concerns on the era. ‘An Inspector Calls’ is a play frequently described as a murder mystery, but underneath lies a strong political message. J.B Priestley uses numerous dramatic devices to attack the social mores of his time, such as the use of hindsight to show mankind’s mistake’s such as the wars and the sinking of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic- a morality tale. The play is also used as a platform to preach Priestley’s socialist agenda....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Powerful Essays
2453 words (7 pages)

Priestly's Political Message in "An Inspector Calls" Essay

- The play "An Inspector Calls" was written by J.B Priestley in 1945, when the British people were recovering from over six years of constant warfare and danger. As a result of two world wars, class distinctions were greatly reduced and women had achieved a much higher place in society. It was due to this and a great desire for social change that Labour's Clement Attlee won a landslide victory over the conservative Winston Churchill. He nationalized the gas steel and electrical industries, established the NHS and introduced the Welfare State....   [tags: An Inspector Calls, J.B. Priestly, ]

Powerful Essays
1384 words (4 pages)

The Role of the Inspector in J.B. Priestley's play "An Inspector Calls"

- J.B. Priestley wrote the play "An Inspector Calls" in 1945 and set it in 1912. These dates are both relevant because he wrote his play in a world emerging from the Second World War, at a time when people were getting nostalgic about pre-world war one. Priestley used his play to try and show people that the idea of a community in 1912 was gradually being washed away by the upper classes and that the world needed to change rather than return to the egotistical society that existed in pre war England....   [tags: An Inspector Calls]

Powerful Essays
1728 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Classism and Responsibility for Others in‘An Inspector Calls’

- The play ‘An Inspector Calls’ was written by J.B Priestley in 1945, during World War Two. The author of the play, J.B Priestley conveys his concerns about the Edwardian society through the play. His main concerns were that the higher classed families were ignorant towards the poor people and they did not care for the society. J.B Priestley was also concerned about the way people were treating each other, especially the way upper classed people exploited and degraded working classes to benefit themselves....   [tags: An Inspector Calls, J.B Priestley, World War II, c]

Powerful Essays
1498 words (4.3 pages)

The Character of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls Essay

- Analyse the character of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley. Discuss his: * Role in the play * Effect on the other characters * Stage presence When the Inspector first knocks on the front door, it is dramatic irony because Arthur just said a matter of seconds before of how he ‘might get a knighthood if we don’t get into any sort of trouble’. This is a very significant time of entering, similar to knocking over a tower of Jenga – everything one has hoped for has just evaporated into thin air....   [tags: An Inspector Calls]

Free Essays
2561 words (7.3 pages)

The Role of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls Essay examples

- The Role of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' An Inspector Calls is a play with many social and political messages. J. B. Priestley believed a great deal in socialism and he used several of his plays to try and influence people to be Socialist as well. It was written in a time when Britain was ruled by a Labour government and socialist policies were seen as the way forward. It was a popular way of thinking at that time so Priestley's aim for the play was probably to teach the unconvinced. The Inspector in J....   [tags: An Inspector Calls]

Powerful Essays
4709 words (13.5 pages)

The Presentation of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls Essay

- The Presentation of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls J.B. Priestley was born in Yorkshire on 13th September 1894. He gained his writing experience in the years before the war 1911-1914; he did not work among professional writers; he was around “people who read a great deal, cared a lot for at least one of the arts, and preferred a real talk and hot arguments to social chit-chat.” Despite having grown up into his father’s circle of socialist friends, he found himself joining in in their political discussions/arguments....   [tags: J.B. Priestley An Inspector Calls Plays Essays]

Free Essays
1394 words (4 pages)

The Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly Essay

- The Inspector in An Inspector Calls Examine the function and symbolism of the Inspector in the play – An Inspector Calls, and explain how Priestly makes him dramatically effective Throughout the play ‘An Inspector Calls’, by J.B Priestley, the audience sees the role of a mysterious investigator who interrogates a powerful and upper-middle class family: The Birling's. Priestley uses the role of the Inspector to expose the characters in the play, and to put his own views across about the Birling’s and their conservative beliefs....   [tags: An Inspector Calls Plays J.B. Priestley Essays]

Powerful Essays
2692 words (7.7 pages)

Essay on The Role of Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls

- The Role of Inspector Goole in An Inspector Calls    In the work, An Inspector Calls, Inspector Goole role has been a described as a staging device.  Yet, defining Inspector Goole as meerly a staging device implies that he is not a character in his own right but exists simply as a way of exploring the personalities and lives of other, more fully rounded, characters. While it is true that An Inspector Calls would not work without Inspector Goole's central role, it reduces him a little to refer to him as 'just' a staging device....   [tags: An Inspector Calls Essays]

Powerful Essays
1202 words (3.4 pages)