An Inspector Calls
One of the main themes of JB Priestley’s play “An Inspector Calls” is how man treats his fellow man.
'An Inspector Calls' was set in 1912 in an Edwardian society this was a time of great divide between the classes. There was a lot of social unrest as the working class people where uniting to protest for fair pay, reduced working hours, and better working conditions. The play is set in The Birling Household during Shelia Birling and Gerald Crofts engagement party. The party comes to an abrupt end when a unknown inspector arrives at their door with some news.
The news that the inspector has is that a girl names Eva Smith committed suicide by drinking strong disinfectant. Although Eva doesn’t appear in the play, the play centres around her and her death. The plot unravels the involvement of the characters in this death.
Throughout the play an 'inspector calls' JB Priestly uses the characters to portray the different levels of society. He does this so as to give each class a moral belief and name. He uses the characters Mr and Mrs Birling to represent capitalists they are middle class and only out for themselves. Gerald is a higher middle class and is much younger, he has some empathy for the lower class but is still very much a capitalist. Both Eric and Sheila have a lot of empathy for Eva Smith, they see what they have done and are willing to accept that. Eva represents the lower class. She represents how badly they are treated by the upper classes. The inspector, represents JB Priestley’s views . JB Priestly uses the character to tell the audiences how he feels and thinks. That the characters have to be made to realise their responsibilities which are to be truthful and honest to themselves and each other.
Mr Birling is a middle class, wealthy business man who used to be an alderman for years and lord mayor two years ago he is a magistrate and talks of his "way into the next honours list. Just a knighthood. We see his good and bad side. His good side being that he cares about his daughter getting married to his fiancée "treating Gerald like one of the family." His bad being a man’s priority - his work and reputation. He comes across a being very mean, cruel and even extremely pompous as a complete snob - in his opinion, his and his only views are correct. He started the chain of events off that led to Eva death by firing her after she protested for better pay. In the end he takes no responsibility for his actions and doesn’t change his ways.
After getting sacked by Mr Birling she found at Milward a high end shop where The Birling where respected loyal customers Shelia is the daughter of Mr and Mrs Birling. Shelia’s involvement in Eva’s death is she used her power to get Eva sacked after she brought up a dress which Shelia tried on. When Shelia saw Eva looked better in it she got mad a demanded the girl (Eva) was fired. Shelia after finding out what she did feels sorry and regrets her actions:
“I still can’t forget,...