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J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls Essay

3601 words - 14 pages

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

I think that this play is very good at getting Priestley points
across. After I had read the play it immediately made me think about
the way I treat people. This is because in my view the way the message
is delivered through the use of the character Inspector Goole, also
the harsh reality of the story about the young girl, Eva Smith, and
about her committing suicide. This is quite a selfish way to interpret
the play and changing your ways, also the play is about not being
selfish, looking after each other and working as one body, this is
quite ironic.

The way the inspector challenges Mr Birling, although Mr Birling is a
powerful man. The inspector isn't afraid of who the inspector knows
"how do you get on with the chief constable? ...Perhaps I ought to
warn you… he's an old friend of mine". This doesn't scare the
inspector which appeals to the reader. Also as soon as the inspector
walks in the lighting changes from "cosy" to a "harder" light. This
shows the presence of the inspector it shows that as soon as he walks
in the atmosphere changes.

Priestley wrote this play in 1947 but set it in the year 1912 just
before the First World War and in the year of the titanic sinking.
This technique called distancing. It enables the audience to think
about times by reflecting on the past. He uses to help get his point
across and also it helps give the impression of Mr Birling being
pompous and stupid. This is as he refers to the titanic and calls it
"unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable" he also comments on the thought of
war, "you'll hear some people saying war is inevitable. And to that I
say fiddlesticks". This makes Mr Birling look stupid as the audience
of the time know that there has been a war, two wars. They are also
aware that the titanic did sink. This helps to get Priestley's point
across as; if Mr Birling looks stupid then it shows capitalism is
stupid. The way in which it is set back in time adds to the importance
of changing ways, as the end the inspector talks about if men don't
learn there lesson soon then they will be taught it in "blood and fire
and anguish". This refers to the war and it gets the audience to think
have they learned there lesson, as they will have probably lived
through two wars and wont want to see anymore.

The play was written just after the second war, in 1947, but everyone
would still be feeling the effects of it. This helps Priestley to get
the audience to reflect on their lives and to see what mistakes they
have made and make them want to change as they won't want to go
through anymore big ordeals like a war.

Priestley had many time theories and influences while writing this
play which helped him set it in a good way to get his message across
with effectiveness. He was fascinated by the theories of time...

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