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
The family are celebrating their daughters engagement to Mr Gerald
Croft, an upper class man, as are the Birling's in the play. A visit
from the Inspector Goole becomes a terrifying experience for the
Birlings, as they find out that they have all played a part in a young
girls suicide. J.B Priestley wrote this play after world war II in
1945, and was first performed in 1946, though he set the play as if it
were taking place in 1912,just a week before the Titanic took sail to
In this play, Priestley's main aim was to encourage people to take
responsibility for their actions, and to stop people from shifting the
blame on to others.
Priestley conveys his attitudes and ideas through the characters in
the play. Inspector Goole is used to voice his own opinions, where as
the Birlings are to show what Priestley's opinions are of
Many people in 1912, thought that capitalism was the right way to go
about things, (such as upper class people, the Birlings and Gerald
Croft who appear in the play) where as others thought that this was an
incorrect way, and unfair such as lower class people, Inspector Goole
and J.B Priestley.
In "An Inspector Calls", Priestley tries to encourage socialism, and
for it to over come capitalism. He tries to make a point that
socialism is the correct way to go about things such as politics and
Priestley completes the task by making characters according to how he
wants them to be presented by their attitudes, opinions, overall
appearance and personality.
There are two types of people in "An Inspector Calls" which are the
socialists and the capitalists.
The capitalists being the Birling family and Gerald Croft who are the
upper class people, who do not believe in equality, where as the
socialist, being Inspector Goole a middle/ lower class citizen
believes in nothing but equality and fairness.
Mr Birling is the main capitalist in the play, he is a rich upper
class man, he owns a factory in which he exploits lower class citizens
who work for him, and pay them peanuts. This is typical capitalist
behaviour. Mr Birling is said to be "portentous" by J.B Priestley.
Priestley uses Birling as maybe a role like the "baddy" in which we
still see in films and theatre of today, such as Jafar in the Disney
At the beginning of act one, Mr Birling believes "a man has to make