An Inspector Calls Essay Research Paper

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An Inspector Calls Essay, Research Paper ??????????????????????????????????????????????? ESSAY – AN INSPECTOR CALLSJohn Boynton Priestley was a socialist. He believed that whether we acknowledged it or not, we are in a community and have a responsibility to look after others. He wrote "An Inspector Calls" to highlight these beliefs and share them. In writing this essay, I intend to show Priestley’s aims in writing the play, how he showed these aims and how successful he was in conveying his ideas.You can only speculate on the aims of a playwright in writing a play. In the case of "An Inspector Calls", a valid speculation would be that the author aimed to educate the audience through the characters’ realisation of their role in Eva Smith’s demise

and thus their individual responsibility towards other people. ??????????? Arthur Birling is the kind of character the whole play warns against. "A hard-headed business man", he believes that society is as it should be. The rich stay rich, the poor stay poor and there is a large gap between the two. He believes that "a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own". When put with other things Birling has said in the play, we see that Priestley’s views do not concur with Birling’s and he has added statements to make the audience see Birling’s views as false. Birling’s confidence in the predictions he makes – that the Titanic is "unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable", that "The Germans don’t want a war. Nobody wants

a war" and that "we’re in for a time of increasing prosperity" give that audience the impression that his views of community and shared responsibility are misguided also. Every one of the predictions Birling makes are wrong; the Titanic sank on her maiden voyage, World War one broke out two years after the play was set and the American stock market crashed in 1929, plunging the world into economic chaos. This leads us to regard him as a man of many words but little sense!??? ??????????? If we contrast the character of Birling with that of the Inspector, we can see Priestly’s aims showing. The Inspector is the opposite of Birling. Where? Birling’s predictions are wrong, the Inspector predicts that if people don’t learn their responsibilities, they will be

taught in "fire and blood and anguish". This prediction refers to World War I most obviously, but also can refer to World War II. The lessons of World War I weren’t learnt so the same mistakes were made and another war started; and though Priestly was unaware of it when the play was written, sixty years on the same mistakes have caused war after war. This makes his message just as relevant to the audience of 2001 as to his intended audience. Another contrast to Birling is that while Birling? seemingly knows nothing of his family’s affairs, Sheila says of the Inspector "We hardly ever told him anything he didn’t know". At the end of Act Three, Birling seems not to have taken any of the lessons of the evening to heart. The demise of Eva Smith and the part

each member of his family played in her death have not shaken his belief that "a man has to mind his own business and look after himself and his own?" and that "there’s every excuse for what? (he and Mrs Birling)? did" In fact, he is more concerned with his own reputation than with Eva. "?who here will suffer?more than I will?" He says things that should have been said to him, "you don’t realise yet all you’ve done…you don’t seem to care about anything", yet when he says these things, he is of course talking not about Eva Smith, but about his own reputation and an upcoming public scandal. The attitudes of Mr and Mrs Birling, and to an extent Gerald, and their willingness to explain away the? events of the evening to hoaxes and