J.B. Priestley wrote the play "An Inspector Calls" in 1945 and set it in 1912. These dates are both relevant because he wrote his play in a world emerging from the Second World War, at a time when people were getting nostalgic about pre-world war one. Priestley used his play to try and show people that the idea of a community in 1912 was gradually being washed away by the upper classes and that the world needed to change rather than return to the egotistical society that existed in pre war England.
Through his play Priestley endeavoured to convey a message to the audiences, that we could not go on being self obsessed and that we had to change our political views. He used the Birling family as an example of the Capitalist family that was common amongst the higher classes in 1912, who took no responsibility for other people and he showed this with the power of Socialism, represented by the inspector; the uneasy facade put on by the Birling family to cover up their real flaws and how they have treated those whom they considered to be lower class could not stand up to any scrutiny without shame for what had happened, showing that they know they have been wrong.
J.B. Priestley's main line of argument was that the political opinion of people in this world needed to change.
J.B Priestley strongly believed in Socialism, which was an economic system. For example, An Inspector Calls, as well as being a play, contains many references to socialism the inspector was arguably an alter ego through which Priestley could express his views. Priestley through his writing was also trying to show that all our actions have consequences and that as a result of the unsuitable social system, people thought it is acceptable not to worry about what they had done because if it didn't turn out badly, it doesn't matter; however there was still a chance it might have terrible consequences. Writers such as Priestley were very concerned about the way poor people were living.
J.B. Priestley uses a wide range of dramatic devices to help voice his political message about Socialism. The first device he uses is his massively detailed stage directions at the opening of his play. The playwright describes exactly how he wishes for the stage to be set up, and he deliberately separates the Birling family by making them wear formal clothes and having them spread out around a large dining table which has all the suggestions of a rich family. The room is also meant to have the general effect of being heavily comfortable but not cosy which is trying to make the point that money cannot buy you happiness and although the Birling’s are rich enough to afford luxurious furniture, they have no sense of belonging to a family to make it cosy, nor do they have any sense of community.
At the start of the play the stage lighting is meant to be “pink and intimate” to show the family is having to pretend that it is close and when the Inspector comes, the light becomes harsh and white as if...