An inspector calls was first performed in 1945. Priestley wrote the play to express his views through the characters, this makes the play educational. Because the play is set in 1912 the play is filled with dramatic irony, because the Birlings express their views on the future but the audience already know how stupid they are being, this and the drama of the inspector help to keep the audience entertained. The play was set in 1912, life in 1912 was very different from life today. In 1912 the class system was very prominent and this plays a big part in the play. Women were also treated differently and were often made to stay at home looking after the house and children while the man earned money.
The inspector seems strange throughout the play because of the manner in which he talks to the Birlings, appearing to have no respect for the fact that the Birlings are a rich and upper class family. The first thing that the audience might notice is his name, Goole, after his exit when it come out that the inspector isn’t really who he said he was the audience may start assume that he is some kind of ghost. I think the purpose of the inspector in the play is to be the Birlings conscience, he teaches them about responsibility for their actions and for each other. He also teaches them about respecting each other regardless of class. He also exposes lies they have told to teach them that lying will come out in the end and be much worse. In the end he warns the Birlings about what will happen if they don’t learn from the things he has told them.
Examine and Comment on the Dramatic Effect of the Role of the Inspector in 'An Inspector Calls' by J. B. Priestley "An Inspector Calls" by J B Priestley, was written post-world war II, but is set in the time period of the early 1910's. This is a time of great innovation and great threat, as the "Titanic" was about to make its maiden voyage and trouble in the Balkans about to spill out into the ...
I think the things the inspector is teaching the Birlings are the views of Priestley and that through teaching the other characters the inspector is educating the audience, it has been said that the inspector is the voice of Priestley. “Nobody’s been brought in after drinking disinfectant, they haven’t had a suicide in months.” Mr Birling says this after finding out that the inspector had not been telling the truth all along, he finds this a great relief but as Sheila notices, “The point is you don’t seem to have learnt anything.”The moneys not the important thing, Its what happened to the girl and what we all did that matters.” This comment from Eric and the previous one from Sheila shows that they have learnt from the experience and the inspectors lessons. “They ” re over tired, In the morning they ” ll be as amused as we are.” Comments like this from Gerald and Mr. and Mrs. Birling show that they have not learned from the lessons of the inspector and have not changed at all. The way the characters develop, along with the mystery of the inspector and the way Priestley keeps the audience guessing at each characters involvement makes the play very entertaining.
The final speech of the inspector is one of the most important in the play. One of Mr. Birlings first speeches is all about how life is every man for himself and how no one is responsible for anyone else, the inspectors final speech is almost the exact opposite of this and talks about everyone being responsible for everyone else and how everyone’s actions effect other people. “And I tell you that the time will soon come when if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.” Here the inspector could be referring to world war two, the play being set nearly 50 years before its first performance the audience would know that this is what he was talking about. I think he worded the speech this way to shock and scare the audience, this works in both an entertaining and educational way. At this point the inspector seems to take a sudden change of character, he no longer appears to be trying to play an inspector but instead starts to show that he is acting as the conscience for the Birlings.
The play 'An Inspector Calls', was written in 1945 just after the Second World War but is set before World War One (in 1912). The time span between the dates used (1912-1945) is intentional and encourages the reader to reflect on the mistakes of this era. The choice of this date is significant because it was a time of complacency prior to one of great turmoil. Priestley skilfully produces a play ...
As mentioned before, the characters all react differently to the inspectors interrogation. Some of them realise the error of their ways and act very differently to how they did at the beginning of the play. By the end of the play Mr. and Mrs. Birling don’t seem to have been changed by the inspector and hold to the thought that they were right all along, however Sheila does not seem to be the same cold, shallow person she was in the beginning.
Eric also seems to have been changed by the experience and accepts that he is partly to blame for the death of Eva Smith. The fact that the older generation stick to their old way of thinking may show Priestley’s views on the generations, it shows that he thinks the younger generation more readily accepts change but the older generation prefers to keep their old ways. This is probably one of the things that Priestley wanted to educate his audience about. Sheila is like the voice of the audience, the audience know that the Birlings are wrong and Sheila tries to show them this.
“But your forgetting one thing I still cant forget. Everything we said had happened really had happened. If it didn’t end tragically then that’s lucky for us. But it might well have done.” She desperately tries to show the Birlings what they have done and get them to change and learn from the inspector. The way Birling reacts to finding out that Eva Smith had not died that night shows a lot about his unwillingness to change. “I’ll admit he a bit of a scare at the time.
But I’d a special reason for not wanting a scandal just now.” This comment show that Mr. Birling only cares about himself and his family, he is more bothered about there not being a public scandal than any of the things they had done. He believes that because the girl is not dead it does not matter what they all did no matter how much Sheila tries to convince him. In the final section of the play there is a lot of dramatic tension. Priestley uses this tension to keep the audience entertained and ‘on the edge of their seats’. Priestley first creates this tension with the final speech of the inspector, this speech leaves the Birlings silent and shocked.
Priestley wrote an Inspector Calls in 1945 - just before the end of WWII. However, The play itself is set in 1912 - just before the start of WWI, and in Edwardian England. Priestley was a socialist writer who had left wing political views with very strong beliefs; he enjoyed using types of theatre to get his messages across. When the platy was set, there was a lot of historical events going on at ...
The silence between the family further builds the tension. “That man wasn’t a police officer.” Upon Gerald arrival he announces that he has discovered that the inspector was a fraud. This announcement sparks off a discussion in which Mr. and Mrs.
Birling and Gerald try to prove the none-existence of the inspector and convince themselves that nothing had happened to a girl at all. During this discussion the tension lowers. “You ” re pretending everythings just as it was before.” Sheila continues to try and show the Birlings that even if nothing happened to Eva Smith they had still done the things they had admitted to, this keeps the tension up and helps to keep the audience entertained. The phone call is a dramatic device, when the phone rings the family stops, shocked. They silently look to the phone, this air of shock and the phone call itself make the tension jump rapidly up. “He puts the telephone down slowly and looks in a panic stricken fashion at the others.” When Birling performs this stage direction the tension peaks, the look of panic on his face will mean that the audience can probably guess what the phone call was about even before Birling’s announcement.
“That was the police. a girl has just died – after swallowing some disinfectant. And a police inspector is on his way here – to ask some – questions.” This speech confirms what the audience may have thought about the phone call. It helps keep the tension and creates a cliffhanger to leave the end of the play on. It leaves the audience wondering what is going to happen next and whether the phone call would have happened if the Birlings had learned from the words of the Inspector. I think that at the end of the play someone really has died and because of the state the Birlings have been left in after inspector Goole’s questioning everything that they had said to inspector Goole will come out and the scandal will shame and ruin the Birling family.
I think that the phone call acts as a lesson to the Birling family for not learning a lesson from the words of the inspector and not feeling sorry for what they had done. Conclusion The play is still relevant to a modern audience because the issues brought up in the play still exist today. There are still lots of people who are like the Birlings, people who are sexist, upper class snobs who look down on the lower classes and seek only money and their own and their families gain. The mention of “fire, blood and anguish” in the inspectors final speech could refer to world war 2, there is still the issue of war today. I think that we could learn that our actions effect people around us and that it is bad to have selfish views on everything from the play.
Recently I realized I was home less and less and had begun to miss numerous phone calls. I had been debating for months as to whether or not I should get a cellular phone. With much consideration I figured it was high time I broadened my horizons in respect to contemporary technology. I caved and joined the twenty-first century by purchasing my first cellular phone. I found that cellular service ...