The Role Of The Inspector In J.B. Priestley's Play "An Inspector Calls"

2058 words - 8 pages

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...

Find Another Essay On The Role of the Inspector in J.B. Priestley's play "An Inspector Calls"

The Dramatic Importance of the Inspector in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

5467 words - 22 pages The Dramatic Importance of the Inspector in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls In this play, Inspector Calls J.B. Priestley expresses his personal viewpoint on society in general throughout the play by using the character Inspector Goole. His viewpoint is evident in the main themes through out the play which are social responsibility, power and lies. These themes help to articulate his belief that all people share a

Priestley's Presentation of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls

2030 words - 8 pages Priestley's Presentation of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls To properly answer the question, we must firstly consider what society was really like during the time that the play is based and then compare it to the time it was preformed. During the early 1900's, if you were rich, life was good. The British Empire was at its peak and trade unions were not powerful enough to cause significant grief for factory owners

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

860 words - 3 pages 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 homelike." The family are celebrating their daughters engagement

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

1723 words - 7 pages J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls I am currently studying a play called An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestly. Basically, this play is about a suicide in which a whole family, the Birlings are implicated. The play is set in the home of a middle class family, on a spring evening of 1912. This play contains an important message for today’s society. The Birling family is celebrating their daughter, Sheila’s engagement

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

5235 words - 21 pages J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls An inspector calls was set 1n 1912, this is a play which contains many social and political messages. The war would have been an even sadder issue in 1947 when the play was first shown than it is now, and one which would have made people feel uneasy and would have provoked a lot of emotions and a lot of bad memories. This means that when Birling spoke about it in his speech, the

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

3393 words - 14 pages J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls This play ‘An Inspector Calls,’ was written by J.B Priestly in 1945. John Boynton Priestly was a socialist, he thought that whether or not we understood that we live in a community, we have responsibility to look after others and not see any difference between classes. To portray his thoughts he wrote "An Inspector Calls" so that we would understand there is no difference between the

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls - 3601 words

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

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls - 2696 words

2696 words - 11 pages J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B. Priestley is set in an industrial city, Brymley in 1912, just before the First World War. The Inspector's dealings with the Birling family cause some of the characters in the play to re-evaluate their position in society, whilst others remain unaffected. J.B.Priestley criticises middle class oppression of the working class by showing how the Birlings and

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls - 3002 words

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

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls - 1840 words

1840 words - 7 pages J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls In the play 'An inspector calls' by JB priestly, there are a range of dramatic devices used, you can see foreshadowing; where the characters hint at things that you see or learn later. There are the entrances and exit; the dramatic ways that these are used. Also the climatic curtain is used, leaving the readers on a cliff hanger. And finally dramatic irony and denouement are used. All

Message in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

3046 words - 12 pages Message in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls J.B Priestley sets the stage play of An Inspector Calls within the fictional industrialised city of Brumley. Brumley is most likely typical of many towns where the factory owners, who supplied much required employment, were able to run things in essence how they wanted. All action of the performance is carried out in the Birling's dining room. Mr Birling, his wife and their

Similar Essays

The Role And Function Of The Inspector In J.B Priestley's An Inspector Calls

2581 words - 10 pages The Role and Function of the Inspector in J.B Priestley's An Inspector Calls 'An Inspector Calls' written by J.B Priestley, is set in 1912 and was written in 1945. In the play the Inspector appears to be very plain, dull and straightforward wearing a dark suit, and is rather sinister and suspicious. He, on his appearance, has a huge sense of "massiveness" to him, and has the authority to control and pull out information

Role Of The Inspector In Priestley's An Inspector Calls

1024 words - 4 pages Examine the role of Inspector Goole in the play “An Inspector Calls” by J.B. Priestley. “An inspector calls” by J.B. Priestley is a fairly unusual Murder-Mystery play as it does not have a single murderer, but a group that contributed to a young woman’s suicide. This peculiarity also continues in that all of those accused are totally unaware of their involvement until they are forced to work it out for themselves, with a little help from

The Function And Symbolism Of The Inspector In J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

1902 words - 8 pages The Function and Symbolism of the Inspector in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls In “An Inspector Calls” by J.B. Priestley the Inspector is used as a voice of conscience and morality. The Inspector does this while interrogating a very prosperous and upper-middle class family who believe themselves to be above all. The dramatic impact that Priestley uses shows the importance, validity and presence of the inspector

The Function Of The Inspector In J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls

2941 words - 12 pages The Function of the Inspector in J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls J.B Priestly was a British journalist, novelist, playwright and essayist. He was born in 1894 in Bradford and died in 1984. The play "An Inspector Calls" is about a family who, each member without knowing, have participated in a young girl's suicide. Inspector Goole makes every member of the family realise that they have played a part in killing the