Essay on John B. Priestley: An Inspector Calls

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John B. Priestley: An Inspector Calls

The play was written in 1912, which was also a year of high moral in Britain. The British people had a general feeling of optimism, they thought that technology would never stop advancing and that war would never occur. There was a huge difference in social classes and women were seen as inferior to men. By 1945 when the play was first performed the moral was much lower. There had just been two World Wars that had affected Britain quite severely. British citizens’ lifestyles had completely changed: Class distinctions had been greatly reduced and women had earned a more valued place in society.

In this play the Inspector is there to show the Birlings that
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But even so there is a happy, joyful atmosphere at the table.

As the men drink their port and the ladies leave to attend to something else, Mr. Birling has a 'man to man' chat with his son and soon to be son-in-law.

“…is that a man has to make his own way- has to look after himself- and his family too, of course, when he has one- and so long as he does that he wont come to much harm.” He goes on to tell them that a man needs not to worry about the wider community and the other less fortunate people around. As this is being told the door bell rings. An impressive, very serious man who none of the family know introduces himself as Inspector Goole. The inspector announces that he is there to investigate the suicide of a young lady who went by the name of Eva Smith. He shows a photograph to Mr. Birling he admits that she once worked as an employee in his factory. Eva Smith was fired when she was found to be one of the main characters demanding higher wages. Birling leaps straight to his own defense claiming that he paid his workers that usual rate and that he could not possibly be held responsible for what happened to her afterwards.

When Sheila is shown the photograph of the young lady she is deeply affected and leads on to tell the

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