Review of J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls
Inspector Calls, is a play set in the fictitious North Midlands
industrial city of Brumley in 1912. The wealthy industrialist Arthur
Birling and his wife Sybil Birling are holding a dinner party to
celebrate the engagement of their daughter Sheila, to Gerald Croft.
Gerald is the son of a successful business rival, Sir George Croft.
Whilst preparing for dinner, they are interrupted by a police
Inspector who is investigating the suicide of a young working class
woman. The inspector shows them a photograph of the girl and they all
start to recognise who the girl is. Eva Smith. They all reveal their
involvement in the death of Eva, but do not blame themselves for
causing the death of Eva Smith. The Inspector tells them that they are
all partly to blame for the girl's suicide and then leaves. The family
then begins to suspect that the Inspector was not genuine. They
eventually find out that the Inspector was lying about the death of
Eva Smith and they congratulate themselves on exposing the hoax. But
soon a telephone rings, and they find out that a girl had just died
and an inspector was coming round to question them.
In his play, "An Inspector Calls", Priestly has created three
different women. They are Mrs Birling, Sheila Birling and Eva Smith.
The main differences between them are that Mrs Birling is a well-off
lady who can't control her temper and doesn't feel sympathetic towards
others. She also doesn't want her family to get a bad reputation, so
she denies any allegations made towards her family. Sheila is the
daughter of Mr and Mrs Birling. She is a much calmer and sympathetic
lady. She is still a growing girl and can be concerned about other
people's feelings, especially Eva Smith's feelings. She feels sorry
for Eva when she realizes that she's dead, and she's also ready to
take the blame for her death whilst others strongly deny their
involvement in Eva's death. Eva Smith is approximately the same age as
Sheila. She is a pretty, warm hearted girl. She was rejected by almost
each and every member of the family. She was having an affair with
Eric Birling and was carrying his child before she died. Unlike the
other characters in the play, we do not meet Eva Smith. In my essay I
will see how successful Priestly is in conveying a social message
through these three characters. But at first, I will study the three
characters in depth.
Mrs Birling is Mr Birling's wife and the mother of Sheila Birling has
a lot in common with her husband, but she is a hard-faced and arrogant
lady than her husband. She is introduced as his superior, "Arthur
you're not supposed to say such things", she says this reproachfully
to Mr.Birling when the family was having dinner. Eric was a bit over
the edge when Sheila was talking about Gerald and Sheila was...