An Inspector Calls

An Inspector Calls

Length: 1486 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
An Inspector Calls: Set In 1912; written 1940's but a play for the
millennium. What important issues are raised by the play? How does
Priestly use the Settings, Characters and Events to convey?

I've been studying the play 'An Inspector Calls' that is concerned
about problems and issues of year 1912 and used the characters of the
play to allow his feelings of the time to be put across to others, in
1912 and now. Many of the problems faced then are still around today
and will be probably will be in years to come, despite him trying to
make changes in the way we think. However the play was wrote in 1946,
just after the Second World War, he was trying to make people aware of
what was going on and how this shouldn't happen again. At the time
there were a lot of coal miners on strike for having low wages,
working, living and conditions also Dockers for the same reasons
nothing was done. The poor were manipulated by the rich into what they
wanted, for instance take the World War Two Germany the much stronger,
powerful and richer country, against poorer countries such as Poland
and there was many more countries in similar situations. The play was
attempting to get across, that we need to look after the people and
things around us no matter how small, as it's not acceptable to use
them to our advantages:

Remember this. One Eva Smith has gone but there are millions and
millions of Eva Smith and John Smiths still left with us.

There were always people there to look after or at least realise about
the 'Eva Smiths' in the world. In a world scale other countries came
into help the poorer countries but notice its always too late in a
way, people have already been hurt, In the play there was Sheila and
Eric Birling and of course the inspector. A more recent event like
this took place in 1982, the Falklands. Argentina invaded the Islands,
thinking nothing would be done because they're so small. The British
advanced to help their fellow men, and stopped the conflict in its
tracks. They made Argentina pay for it, in the death of their own men,
'then they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish', The
Inspector (page 56). I think the ideas of Priestly were heard by the
people, but still have not embedded themselves into today's society:

Nonsense! You'll have a good laugh over it yet.

We've been had, that's all. Birling(both p70)

This is only Mr Birling's general opinion but this could also be the

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"An Inspector Calls." 17 Jun 2019

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Classism in "An Inspector Calls" Essays

- Although the author’s intention is to entertain the audience just like every play would, however he also isn’t just entertaining the audience because his intention shows that he is more interested in showing the audience about the structure of the class system. The play is set at the turn of the century and is centered on a wealthy family who are successful and prosperous at a time of poverty for many. They are oblivious to this, and given the fact that the play was written many years later the play contains much irony about the future, but not only does it make it question our history but also our future....   [tags: An Inspector Calls, J.B Priestley, ]

Research Papers
1822 words (5.2 pages)

The Theme of 'No Man is an Island' Illustrated in Priestly's An Inspector Calls

- The play “An Inspector Calls” makes us realize that the philosophy “no man is an island” (John Donne) is a lesson that we should learn. It means that no-one should isolate themselves and that if a person dies etc. then the lives of others are seriously altered. “An Inspector Calls” by J.B. Priestly gets this view across. The main plot involves the Birling family and the girl’s fiancé celebrating when a mysterious inspector turns up and asks some questions about a girl’s suicide. It turns out they are all, in some way, involved in her death....   [tags: An Inspector Calls]

Research Papers
847 words (2.4 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]

Research Papers
4709 words (13.5 pages)

An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley Essay

- An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley An Inspector Calls, by J.B. Priestly, is the story of the visit by an Inspector to an apparently normal family, the Birlings. They are celebrating Sheila Birling's engagement to Gerald Croft, who is also present, when the Inspector arrives telling them of the suicide of a young girl called Eva Smith. At first they deny any knowledge of the girl, but as the play goes on the Inspector manages to show that they all helped kill her. Mr Birling had her dismissed from his factory for demanding a small increase in wages; Sheila ordered her to be dismissed from her job in a shop simply because of her pride; Gerald Croft kept her as his mistress before leaving h...   [tags: Inspector Calls Priestley Essays]

Research Papers
5227 words (14.9 pages)

An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley Essay examples

- Who is to Blame for the Death of Eva Smith. Introduction This coursework focuses on how each character contributes to the suicide of a poor girl Eva Smith/Daisy Renton. Part 1 Gerald Croft is a young business man. He has a good steady job, a fiancée, a promising future and is financially stable. In 'An Inspector Calls' Gerald is described as "an attractive chap, about thirty". His father owns a company called 'Crofts Limited' who are friendly rivals of the Arthur Birling's business 'Birling and Company', although the Croft's business is both older and bigger than the Birling's....   [tags: Priestley Inspector Calls]

Free Essays
1587 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

- J.B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls" "An Inspector Calls" is a politics based detective play script written by John Bonyton Priestley, or better know as J.B Priestley. The play takes place in the wealthy Birtling's family dining room, a room of which has "good solid furniture of the period", "the general effect is substantial and heavily comfortable but not cosy and homelike." The family are celebrating their daughters engagement to Mr Gerald Croft, an upper class man, as are the Birling's in the play....   [tags: Priestley Inspector Calls Essays]

Research Papers
954 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on J.B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls"

- J.B. Priestley's "An Inspector Calls" The play is set at the turn of the century and is centred on a wealthy family who are successful and prosperous at a time of poverty for many. They are oblivious to this, and given the fact that the play was written many years later the play contains much irony about the future, but not only does it make it question our history but also our future. The inspector is portrayed as being the champion of socialism, he is there to symbolise Priestley’s views. Essentially Priestley uses biased representations of capitalism, and socialism, reflected with Birling, and inspector Goole, to prepare the reader for his conclusive message....   [tags: Priestley Inspector Calls Essays]

Free Essays
2240 words (6.4 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]

Research Papers
1202 words (3.4 pages)

J.B. Priestley's "Inspector Calls" Essay

- J.B. Priestley's "Inspector Calls" J B Priestley presents the readers with a fascinating play of guilt and innocence, of prejudice and hypocrisy. But there are parts of this play that i fail to understand. Mr and Mrs Birling are a middle class couple with two children, Eric and Shelia. Shelia is engaged to an upper class man named Gerald Croft. It is not everyday that an inspector should turn up at a house filled with people with such a high status. However, Mr Birling and Mr Croft are respected gentlemen, so why does Priestley leave it so unclear to them, and us, as to whether Eva Smith is one person or several....   [tags: Priestley Inspector Calls Essays]

Free Essays
1506 words (4.3 pages)

opinion of many more people now and then. Just after this there is a
phone call saying 'a girl has just died and an Inspector will be
around shortly', I feel this could be a hidden message. It was as
though they didn't learn their lesson and had to be taught once more
again and this time definitely in 'anguish'. This also happened to the
Germans, it seemed like they had been put to sleep after WWI, but no
they certainly hadn't and returned to their old ways of controlling
the small eastern countries, the First World War was far from a world
war. The Second World War basically Germany and Japan against the real
deal the rest of the world! So the Birlings (Mr and Mrs Birling) may
have escaped from what was thought to be inevitable outcome the first
time, however they weren't so lucky later on when told a real
inspector would be coming round.

The Inspector is major character in the play as he is the man who
exposes the seedy under belly of the Birling family. He uses an
unusual style to interrogate the family with, none of which a normal
inspector would use:

Don't stammer and yammer at me again man. I'm losing my patience with
you people. Inspector (page 56)

No Inspector would normally talk to people of a higher class in this
way, especially in the time it is set, it would be preposterous. His
style of interrogation allows him to take full control of the
situation and force the family to spill information of what they've
been up to. Although the Inspector may seem like an obnoxious man, he
is trying to tell the Birlings a valuable lesson. The Inspector always
has the right questions and answers and the Birlings soon learn not to
challenge him, as he will shoot you back down. He dominates over the
family telling what he want and when he wants 'Don't start on that I
want to get on', the Inspector is untouchable even when found to be a
fake in a sort of way he gave them a taste of their own medicine. What
was the Inspector? Was he genuine, I think not as he never enforced
anything on to the Birlings (laws, police, arrest) however he may have
been from the future and warned them of what was to come but in my
opinion, no. I think he was more likely to be their conscious but more
simply the voice of J.B Priestly carrying on his message.

To understand the message of responsibility, we need to understand the
characters that propelled the word of Priestly through out the play of
An Inspector Calls. In my eyes the character that stand out for me in
the play, as the main perpetrator is Mr Birling. Mr Birling is a
self-made businessman that climbed his way out of poverty. This would
make one think he would have a larger horizon on the issues of
responsibility, but no quite the opposite actually. This is because he
is man who made his own way through the ranks with no helping from
anybody else but him! This makes him bitter of people who aren't
pulling their own to help themselves, Mr Birling is been a hypocrite,
not allowing this girl to try and help her self, but was also helping
her fellow colleagues. Mr Birling probably was much like this when he
was making his way up, but wouldn't like to see somebody else do the
same. Mr Birling is extremely hard-headed and stubborn, not letting a
man take an inch:

If you don't come sharply on these people they'd soon be asking for
the earth.

This shows how Birlings mind thinks, having a negative attitude
towards his employees and thinking of only one man, him! Despite
Birling been a major culprit in the crime he still fails to realise
that he was in the wrong and at the end refused to accept
responsibility for his action. A well known saying is out of sight out
if mind.

Other characters that play a part in the play are Sheila and Eric
Birling. They are two, which I talked about before, explaining how
they are the good Samaritans of the house hold, usually, and had just
behaved out of character for one moment but soon after was deeply
upset about her action and tried to help the inspector in any way

And if your not telling the truth why should the inspector apologize?
And can't you see both of you, you're just making it worse? Sheila
pages 41-2

This just proves how Sheila is taking a responsible role, telling her
parents how to behave. Sheila is attempting to show her own mother
that honesty is really the best policy and how you cant hide behind an
Iron Curtain forever. Eric shows some understanding to the situation,
when the inspector asks if he'll remember he replies with, 'My God -
I'm not likely to forget'. These are strong and powerful words from
such a young man, it really gives one an insight into his mind, you
truly know with words like that, he is truly sorry about the whole
episode and will never forget!

I think this play will continue to be printed as book and continue to
be shown in The West End as play. This is because I feel
unfortunately, The mistakes that people made in 1912 and the issues in
1912 will still be around in many years to come, because we sill now
have constant war throughout the world, Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and
many more. Ever since history has been recorded there has not been one
day where there has not been war on Earth, not one! When will man wake
up and see the suffering and pain around them, however I feel they see
it but choose not look at it. We need to realise that there is no
stronger and weaker man we all help to carry each other in this world
today, the people who think their better, need to see that their not.
In a way I feel sorry for Priestly because he failed, he had message,
It was wrote such a long ago, I ponder over the message, thinking
Return to