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J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls Essay

3002 words - 12 pages

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

John Boynton Priestley was one of the most popular, versatile and
greatest authors of his day. His works of popular history and literary
criticism are numerous, ending with

the story of Literature and the western woman. However it was as a
playwright and as a social thinker that he was especially important.
Politically, J.B. Priestley was a patriotic socialist who did not
believe in the case of social class or rich dominancy, he believed
that people should help each other and not be so competitive towards
others. He hated social class because of the way upper class people
took advantage of the working classes.

"An Inspector calls" was written in 1912 and based in Brumley; it was
one of Priestley's most famous plays and is remembered as a soliditary
message to the people of that time. The play was a dramatic
combination of action and mortality, action because of the
conversations had are exciting and pulsing with emotion and mortality
because of the way it sets out a message to people like the Birlings.

At the beginning of scene 1, the Birling family and Gerald are having
a dinner celebration for the engagement of Sheila Birling and Gerald
Croft the son of the man who has been industrially competing with Mr
Birling as Crofts Ltd. The dinner gets off to a start as Mr Birling
holds a toast mostly consisting of more business than it does wishing
well to Sheila and Geralds future. During the speech Sheila begins to
get distracted by the ring Gerald had given her that evening sealing
there engagement, to which Mr Birling responds, "Are you listening
Sheila, this concerns you too," to which Sheila responds politely "I'm
sorry dad, actually I was listening," this is the first sign of
obedience from Sheila in Act 1. Halfway through his speech, Mr Birling
begins to talk about current affairs of that time, such as the titanic
and the world war, what he says is a strong example of dramatic irony
and in a way is a form of humour to us the readers, he first mentions
the titanic which never completed its maiden voyage, then he predicts
that war with Germany will not happen though it started 2 years later,
he also predicts that there will be no problems with labour relations
but we know about the General strike in 1926 and to finish his
predictions he says that there will be peace and prosperity in 1940
but then Britain was under constant air attack. All of these examples
of dramatic irony build on the successfulness of the industrial
businesses. This speech emphasise how the world of the Birlings will
not come burning down in "fire, blood and anguish," as the Inspector
says. "An Inspector Calls" focuses on the attention of the moral and
political messages, not just the characters and the story.

The first act of Sheila is based on her dramatic...

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