- 1 Who wrote An Inspector Calls and why
- 2 Why is An Inspector Calls so popular
- 3 Who does Inspector Goole represent
- 4 Is The Inspector Calls Based on a true story
- 5 Who is the killer in An Inspector Calls
- 6 Is An Inspector Calls a tragedy
- 7 Who is the most important character in An Inspector Calls
- 8 When did JB Priestly write Inspector Calls
Who wrote An Inspector Calls and why
J B Priestley wrote An Inspector Calls after the First World War and like much of his work contains controversial, politically charged messages.
Who wrote the story An Inspector Calls?
Priestley, J.B. (1947). An Inspector Calls: A Play in Three Acts (First ed.). London: Heinemann. OCLC 59564726,
Is Inspector Goole Eva’s dad?
There are different theories as to who the Inspector could be. However, it remains ambiguous so that you can make up your own mind. Some people think that he could be an avenging angel. Other people think that he is sent from God to give the Birlings a chance to make up for their wrong doing. It can definitely be interpreted that he is a supernatural figure because of his name: Goole. This is generally seen as a homophone for ghoul which is another word for a ghost. His name is Inspector Goole, which initially sounds rather like a ghostly figure. He could be a ghost like figure who is more of an extended metaphor throughout the play rather than an actual character. He is a key protagonist in the play as even though he may not be a real character, his presence is still amongst the main characters at all times, even when they believe he is not. jaimebowman 07 March 2016 The inspector is presented as an ambiguous figure, and much of his character is left up to the interpretation of the audience. This ambiguity is important because it creates an uneasy, uncanny effect, emphasising the supernatural possibilities surrounding the character. One theory is that he is a ghost-like figure, suggested by his name “Goole”, who is sent to make the Birlings aware of their actions. However, this is problematised by the fact that at the end of the play the telephone rings and it is announced that they have found a dead woman, echoing the opening of the play. The possibility of redemption is denied to the family, which suggests the inspector functions as an extended metaphor, and that the play has a moral purpose – much like a fable. This further suggests that the play is more of an example of the unfairness of life, the family are shown that they have acted badly and when they think they can redeem themselves they are told they are too late. Rhiannon W.13 March 2016 A hoax. I’ve studied this book so let me know if you need any help:) the inspector has been ssent by god due to the presense he brings to the areas he is in it hink he is a fallen angl and if you read the bible you will agree with me ahmen the inspector has been ssent by god due to the presense he brings to the areas he is in it hink he is a fallen angl and if you read the bible you will agree with me ahmen my gs wag wan piftng innit the inspector has been ssent by god due to the presense he brings to the areas he is in it hink he is a fallen angl and if you read the bible you will agree with me ahmen my gs wag wan piftng innit now if any of you lovely ladies would like to meet and have a rumble rounf with the old ferd i can bring some crumble while we do the ding dong dingalinbg the inspector is eva smiths dead father, we learn from both the play and any movies that have been made that both her parents are dead. it would also suit the theory that he is a ghost in general due to his last name and his whole demeanour through the play. another thing i noticed is he quote “millions and millions of eva smiths and john smiths” potentially his name is john smith and he is talking about himself?? this would make sense of the reason why the inspector is so protective over eva, he is just a grieving father who wants justice for his daughter and everyone else in the lower class within society. I reckon he raped arthur birling Harry Maguire 23 May 2022 Kids are co- Never mind that, i think Enda killed Eva smith 🙂 Pristeley had a thing for the fourth dimension which is about messed up time etc, so quite out there but what if the inspector is eric in the future? I mean we see eric now and he dislikes his family and towards the end he understands that he felt bad for eva and disliked his family even more for their ignorance and selfishness. So what if future eric goes back in time to try and fix his family and help them in the future cause throughout the play we see each of them face karma, so what if wric is trying to fix their fate ? I think the inspector definitely is a supernatural being. i think the play is designed for us to not know who he is and where he came from, therefore, we find that we feel uneasy and wonder about who this man could be. but that is not the important part and i think the author is trying to outline that even now we are focusing on the wrong thing. instead of realizing the tragedy and the graveness of their actions we shift the blame and focus to something else – as the higher classes did so long ago building on the idea of the inspectors purposeful ambiguity, perhaps it was done to make the reader think about the play afterwards, which helps the learning and engraining process I think the inspector is satan – contradicts wgstvhe is supoosedbti shiw i 🤔 Sophia Michaels 16 September 2022 MR.BIRLING WAS JOHNNY SINS’ FATHER AND EVA SMITH/DAISY KHALIFA WAS THE MOTHER CARRYING THE CHILD AND AFTER THE SEX SYMBOL WAS BORN MR BIRLING SAW NO FURTHER NEED FOR THE SKANK AND PURED HIS BLEACH RIDDEN SEMEN DOWN HER THROAT., THE INSPECTOR REPRESENTED MR BIRLINGS’ AVID HORNINESS FOR YOUNG TEENAGERS AND WANTED TO SHOW HIM THAT KILLING HIS CHILDS’ BABY MAMA WASNT RIGHT JUST FOR HIM TO HAVE A RICH CHILD. MONTAGE > GLAZ Ryan Price Ricky Wyn Hughes 21 September 2022 I disagree with Ryan Price Ricky Wyn Hughes here Ryan Price Ricky Wyn Hughes Sr 21 September 2022 I disagree with Ryan Price Ricky Wyn Hughes Sr here Ryan Price Ricky Wyn Hughes The 37th 21 September 2022 As is commonly agreed, I think the Inspector is some kind of supernatural being, who is made to add to the mystery and confusion of the book. Why the Inspector cares about Eva Smith, I don’t know, but perhaps he is simply a ghost who disagrees with class division and makes the upper class feel bad for what they do to the lower class. This would make sense, as the Inspector is a mouthpiece to JB Priestley, who is a socialist and would want to spread the word about how bad inequality is. And as with Kieran’s response above, the Inspector may also be included as a supernatural being so that we can study and learn more about the play, and open it to interpretation for better discussions. I personally think eva gave good life saving toe clenching brain 😋 YT-Flixz-13 06 October 2022 I think the inspector is Eva’s unborn child. We know this because Eva was obviously a skank who lead on Eric and Gerald who just wanted to be nice to hear. The inspector is a commie which is how we know his mind is warped by his corrupt mother and that is why he targets anyone who isn’t a chad. Eva is a Stacy who deserves to drink bleach from my nuts I think there is many answers to who the inspector was. I think he could’ve been a ghost or supernatural being who came to show the Birlings what others couldn’t not even the police who were coming to interrogate the Birlings after his disappearance. Or he couldve been a psychopath or a stalker if there’s no evidence on him being involved with the police how did he get so much evidence on Eva and the case or even where the Birlings lived and disappear without a trace. There are some people saying that he was Eva’s dead father but I don’t agree with that either why would her last name be Smith and not Goole or maybe he made that up as he made up him being an inspector but its still to much of a reach to be true. What’s so uncanny about this whole thing is why do we get a thorough idea on who everyone else is but not him? We learn so much about every character and what they believed and their involvement but not him he’s the only character we know nothing about only him being a spokesperson for Priestley I feel it isn’t enough especially on the way he was claimed to never exist and had some powerful influence on every character there. And if Priestley only used him as a metaphor why use the word Goole relating to ghost and have such a confusing ending.What’s also weird is we know nothing about Eva’s parents death.There’s too many possibilities to not think about this. Thing that also gets me is he knew Eva’s death before anyone else. He knew she was going to die at the infirmary before she even got there he clearly had some psychic power to know this and if he did have a power why didn’t he stop this before it got to this extent why couldnt he interfere at the first hardship maybe the Birlings didn’t kill him at all may be he had a mind controlling power over all of them leaving them with a death they never had involvement with.The answer to this could be very dark or very simple. Maybe he had more involvement then anyone maybe he was obsessed with her knowing her every move and having envy for the upper class he killed her and put the blame on a already unstable family gaslighting them and guilt tripping them. I feel if this is no coincidence if Priestley was so thorough with his connotations why would this be an accident this was something ment to be investigated and gives the play many more deeper levels to give the audience more things to invest in, knowing we’ll never get a true answer we are left with our own perspective. An overthinker 20 October 2022 Mediafire > Mega 21 October 2022 the inspector is either eva’s dead father or the ghost of death Bobbitdog/56 02 February 2023 edna is the main character. inspiring queen darwin nunez 14 March 2023 I reckon the inspector is a bunch of little ants in a suit and they are also alternates from the hit analog horror mandele catalogue and shared information not desired to be known toe Eva and she drank the delicious bleach because of m.a.d from the hit anolouge hore made catalug Jim from the office 21 April 2023 inspector is prob her dad trynna get her justice inni do tha stanky leg 21 April 2023 why in the movie the maid sees the Inspector what doesn’t make sense since the maid did nothing so what I think is that the Inspector is real but not a real cop. he could be related to Eva Smith or he just wanted everyone to look after each other for the community. mrs Birling and shiela had an affair and lied to Gerald who only got with Eva because he was heartbroken The inspector is Eva in disguise trying to see what the Berling’s think about her and see if they care about there death and when they all talk smack about her she gets a bit upset and drinks bleach which Edna gave the inspector/Eva when he/she left the house. The reason Edna gave the inspector/Eva the bleach was as a cure for covid because Edna was actually Donald Trump in disguise and Eva had a cough and felt ill which was actually just morning sickness but Donald/Edna thought it was covid. Lara Patterson the fatty 18 July 2023 The inspector is Jim Bannister cos hes top man diabetos 05 September 2023
What is the main message in Inspector Calls?
In An Inspector Calls, the central theme is responsibility. Priestley is interested in our personal responsibility for our own actions and our collective responsibility to society, to take care of one another.
Why is An Inspector Calls so popular
This text formed the basis of a talk given at the Bradford Literature Festival in May 2015. The Enduring Appeal of An Inspector Calls As we reach the 70th Anniversary since its first staging in Russia in 1945, we ask what is the enduring appeal of An Inspector Calls? What makes it Priestley’s most performed and most popular play? Pinpointing one single reason is difficult so let us consider three.
Reason one is that there is nothing difficult about the play. It is not expressionistic or experimental, nor is it abstract or symbolic – like Music at Night or Johnson Over Jordan. It is a straightforward three-act play where the action is continuous and the pace brisk. Priestley’s language is also not difficult.
His dialogue is composed of what he himself called ‘that familiar flat idiom’. Now this facility is not because Priestley couldn’t write complex plays with symbolic meanings conveyed in abstract terms using language that is hard to understand; it is because on the whole he chose not to.
- He deliberately chose a wide channel of communication and wanted to reach the widest audience possible.
- Simplicity to Priestley was a virtue.
- He once wrote that he ‘wanted to write something that at a pinch could be read aloud in a bar parlour.
- And the time soon came when I was read and understood in a 1000 bar parlours’.
An Inspector Calls has been heard and understood in thousands of theatres around the world. Its simplicity is therefore a large factor in its enduring appeal. The second reason is that it is a gripping piece of drama that maintains the shape and atmosphere of a thriller.
It is a play that demands answers to questions that can only be found by continued watching. As soon as the Inspector walks into that drawing room we are hooked. Who is this girl Eva Smith? Why did she kill herself? Did each member of this family really have a hand in her demise? What did they do? Why did they do it? Who is this Inspector? Is he a real Inspector or someone or something else? And then of course at the very end the telephone rings bringing more questions and questions about questions.
The Inspector moves among the Birlings and Gerald Croft like a moral whirlwind, ruthlessly exposing each of them in turn. It is tremendous to experience it in the theatre. Merciless in his pursuit of the truth Goole brings each to account for their social crimes.
His exchanges with Birling are an almighty collision between two entirely opposite creeds. We want to know who will win. Even when we know he will our own need see it played out keeps us watching. Their exchanges present some of the most powerful lines in the play, few more so than when the Inspector says to Birling ‘it’s better to ask for the earth than to take it’.
This duel between the two men is magnificent theatre. The final reason is the central, simple question the play asks us: who is responsible? It is a question that needs an answer whether we are in 1912, 1945 or 2015. It’s a question repeatedly asked by every generation and a question every generation seeks to answer.
- Most great writers ask too.
- Dickens asked it more than most and it is implicit in much of his work.
- Early in Bleak House the frustrated Gridley demands to know who is responsible as his case is once more refused a hearing and his access to justice is blocked.
- Later, when Joe the crossing sweeper dies, Dickens writes these words: ‘The light is come upon the dark benighted way.
Dead! Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead, right reverends and wrong reverends of every order. Dead, men and women, born with heavenly compassion in your hearts. And dying thus around us every day.’ When considering who is responsible for this helpless waif’s death Esther Summerson tells Mr Skimpole that ‘everybody is obliged to be’.
In An Inspector Calls Priestley does not treat it as an obligation, but as an imperative: ‘We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other. 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.’ It can be argued that Priestley more directly answers the question Dickens posed a hundred years before.
We need only substiture Eva Smith for Joe the sweeper. And he goes further than than posing it – he warns us, realistically, the disaster that continued irresponsibility will bring. Events in the twentieth century show this to be true. As long as that question needs asking and as long as it requires an answer this play will endure.
The following text, by Dr John Baxendale, is a programme essay for a production Of An Inspector Calls at the Canadian Shaw Festival, 2008. An Inspector Calls is about the death of a young woman. But it is not a whodunnit – at least, not of the conventional, forensic kind. An inspector arrives to investigate the death, but the questions he asks the well-heeled, complacent Birlings are not those of your typical policeman.
In any case, the death is a suicide: there is no killer to be unmasked. Instead, a different kind of culpability is being investigated, as we, and the Birlings, are led through a series of revelations which pass the moral blame for the girl’s death from one family member to another – and, ultimately, to a whole social system and set of values.
- Priestley wrote An Inspector Calls at top speed during the last winter of the Second World War, 1944-5.
- Victory was now inevitable, but the climactic events of 1945 – the death of Hitler, the A-bomb, Labour’s landslide election victory – were still in the future.
- At that moment, Priestley was one of Britain’s best-known and most admired public figures.
He had already become famous in the 1930s as a best-selling and hugely prolific novelist, playwright and journalist, but the war turned him into something more. His BBC radio broadcasts, starting in the epoch-making days of June 1940 and continuing through the Blitz, made him a popular propagandist second only to Churchill (and incidentally a regular broadcaster to North America); but there was more to them than mere morale-boosting.
- As Graham Greene (who disliked Priestley’s writing) said, ‘he gave us an ideology’.
- Where Churchill invoked a thousand years of history, Priestley spoke of the future, of how life should be after the war.
- For him, this was a ‘People’s War’, in which survival depended on the spirit and commitment of the ordinary people, who, if they seized the opportunity, could at last enter into their long-denied inheritance.
We were not fighting for a return to the status quo – that was gone for ever – but for a new kind of society – as he put it, ‘a nobler world in which ordinary, decent folk can not only find justice and security but also beauty and delight’, a world in which we could stop thinking in terms of property and start thinking of the nation as a community.
The war was making people realise, Priestley told his listeners, that we were all in the same boat – and it was a boat which could land us in a better world after the war was over. This visionary radicalism inevitably got him into trouble with more conservative elements, including Churchill, who felt that talk of postwar reconstruction was premature and raised unrealistic expectations – and, no doubt, that things were better left to those in charge.
Priestley, undaunted, was led into one of his occasional bouts of political activism, as chairman of the newly formed and rather ad hoc Common Wealth Party, which was to win several wartime by-election victories against Conservative candidates. We can see all this as part of the radical political mood of wartime, much debated amongst historians, out of which the reforming Labour government of 1945-51 was to emerge – at least, according to some accounts.
- But for Priestley, who campaigned for Labour in 1945 and 1950, these ideas went deeper than the fashionable collectivism of the moment.
- He had grown up in Bradford in the politically turbulent Edwardian years, and his attitudes and beliefs were shaped by the socialist culture of that city, and of his schoolmaster father.
When in 1930 he finally became successful with his runaway best-seller The Good Companions, the world slump was under way, and Priestley used the freedom which his fame and fortune gave him to turn his hand to social criticism, in popular journalism, in novels like Wonder Hero, and in English Journey (1934), his masterful and still woefully underrated dissection of the conflicts and contradictions of 1930s Britain.
- An Inspector Calls is undeniably a product and expression of the radical moment of 1945, but it also has roots much deeper in Priestley’s life and ideas.
- Brumley, where the play is set, is an industrial town much like Bradford, its self-satisfied business elite much like those satirised in Priestley’s ‘Yorkshire farcical comedy’ When We Are Married (1938), and excoriated in English Journey for abandoning the communities which made them rich, and making their workers live ‘like black-beetles at the back of a disused kitchen stove’.
Arthur Birling, according to the stage directions ‘rather provincial in his speech’, has the air of an upwardly-mobile self-made man. His wife, we are told, is his social superior; his daughter is about to marry the scion of a wealthier business family; there may even be a knighthood in the offing.
All this is the product of a philosophy which holds that ‘a man has to make his own way’, keeping his business costs down and his workers firmly in their place – and not listening to those cranks, of whom the Inspector turns out to be one, who thinks ‘everybody has to look after everybody else’, and bangs on about ‘community and all that nonsense’.
When, in the climactic speech of the play, the Inspector warns the Birlings that ‘We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other’, he is echoing Priestley’s wartime message, and his hopes for the postwar world. But he also speaks for the whole English radical and socialist tradition of which Priestley was a part, and its rejection of Birling’s laissez-faire individualism.
- It was this tradition that seemed to make the political running during wartime, when collectivism was not just an ideal but a necessity, and which came to power in the 1945 election, when Labour won a landslide victory and formed its first majority government.
- That government went on to found the National Health Service, nationalise key industries, and institute the managed economy based on full employment, all of which remained in place for the next three decades, until Margaret Thatcher tried to roll them back in the 1980s.
Not surprisingly, when the play was revived at Britain’s National Theatre in 1992, the production was hailed as an explicit critique of the prevailing Thatcherite – or should we say Birlingite – values. But if An Inspector Calls is ‘really’ about 1945, why is it set in 1912? The Edwardian years had a particular fascination for Priestley.
- They were the years of his Bradford youth, a lost arcadia when he was working in a wool merchants’ office and trying to become a writer, before enlisting in 1914, aged 20, at the start of the Great War, after which nothing was ever the same again.
- For Priestley, these were years of missed opportunity: there was a fork in history’s path, and the wrong direction was taken.
In the ferment of Edwardian ideas – reflected in Birling’s contemptuous dismissal of the ‘cranks’, Bernard Shaw and H G Wells – a more democratic England had seemed to be in the offing, but the hope was lost in the mud and blood of Flanders and the monstrous betrayal of the survivors after the war ended.
These were years which Priestley revisited repeatedly in his novels and plays, as well as in his remarkable memoir Margin Released (1962). Perhaps, ever preoccupied with time, as we know from plays like Dangerous Corner and I Have Been Here Before, he wanted to rewind history to the point where things could have turned out differently.
Arthur Birling is a man of that time. He believes in progress, which has put him where he is; he believes in the technological future: aeroplanes, motor-cars, even (a little obviously, perhaps) the Titanic, that great enduring metaphor which is just about to make its first and last voyage; and he believes that progress has made war impossible.
So that when the Inspector, shamelessly invoking the hindsight of the audience, threatens ‘fire, blood and anguish’ if people in 1912 will not learn the lesson that we are responsible for each other, we know something the Birlings don’t, and we may well wonder what history has in store for the two young men in the cast.
This is dramatic irony on a historic scale: unlike the Birlings, 1945 audiences are being told, you’ve had two doses of ‘fire, blood and anguish’: have you learned the lesson yet? And this, remember, was written before Hiroshima. An Inspector Calls is the work of Priestley the socialist, but even more so of Priestley the visionary.
- Priestley’s socialism was never of what he called the ‘agenda-programme’ kind: he came to think that Labour had lost its way after 1945 in the minutiae of legislation and reform and committee-work, and failed to keep alive the shared vision and creative gusto of wartime.
- The play is not about social reform, better health care or full employment, important though these things are, but about a vision of how life could be different if we acknowledge the truth that we are all members of one another.
Later in 1945, Priestley recalled for his radio audience the summer of 1940, when ‘we had a glimpse of what life might be if men and women freely dedicated themselves, not to their appetites and prejudices, but to some great communal task’, and amidst the brute threat of war there appeared on the horizon ‘the faint radiance of some far-off promised land’.
Why is the ending of the inspector calls important?
The ending of the play is certainly effective in adding to my understanding of the play as a whole as it increases tension, ensures the audience question in more depth the function of Inspector Goole, reinforces characterisation and highlights the key theme of Social Responsibility.
Who does Inspector Goole represent
Priestley uses Inspector Goole as an imposing omnipotent being who is used to highlight the issues of society. Priestley wants the middle and upper classes to stop being selfish and exploiting the poor for their own financial gain, but instead be more generous and empathetic towards other members of the working class.
Priestley himself was a socialist , but Britain was – and still is – a capitalist country. The Birlings represent the prospering capitalists in society, while the Inspector acts as Priestley’s socialist mouthpiece. His role in the play is to condemn capitalismand teach socialist ideals.
Is The Inspector Calls Based on a true story
An Inspector Calls is a fascinating thriller by J.B. Priestley with an even more mind-boggling ending. Have you ever wondered what the ending meant? Or who the inspector is? The story is engaging and gradually works its way up to the climactic ending. But after reading it, I felt both exhilarated and baffled. So what is the ending of An Inspector Calls and how it be explained? The Inspector leaves the Birlings who then take it upon themselves to call up the police force to inquire about an Inspector Goole. However, no such person exists according to the police.
- The older Birlings breathe a sigh of relief, thinking that it was all a big prank, whilst the younger members think on the errors of their ways.
- Just then, Arthur Birling receives a telephone call from the police informing them that a young girl had died and that the police were on their way to question them.
The Birlings have not gotten away with it after all! The question is, what on Earth was going on? There are several ways of looking at it.
The Inspector was a supernatural being (kind of like the ghosts who visit Scrooge in A Christmas Carol) who took it upon himself to show the Birlings the error of their ways and to get justice for Eva. This can be explained by the Inspector essentially knowing that the Birlings would be questioned and the fact that Eva had not yet been found when the Inspector came to question the Birlings.
It doesn’t matter who or what the Inspector was. It was all just a plot device to make the reader think about the social issues. The Inspector may not have even been a real person. He could just be a symbolism of justice against the suppression suffered by the lower classes.
Crazy theory here and quite dark, but if you look at it from a completely different angle you could say that the Inspector was in on it. Think about it, some random guy shows up, guilt trips the Birlings into thinking that they are guilty of something. The guy disappears and next thing you know, the police are calling about Eva. The so-called Inspector knew about Eva before anyone else did. Could he have somehow been involved and covered it up to look like something else?
I’m more inclined to go with the first two theories. Either way, An Inspector Calls has a powerful message and the ending with the Birlings not getting away with it makes for a very good one.
Who is the killer in An Inspector Calls
Answer and Explanation: In An Inspector Calls, Eva is not killed by one person but by the cumulative actions of the people that she has to deal with in her everyday life. Each person in the Croft and Birling families made her life difficult.
What is the moral of the story of the inspector calls?
This is a preview of the whole essay – The inspector then goes on and tells that Eva smith had changed her name to Daisy Renton, Gerald knows that the inspectors questions will reveal his involvement with daisy Renton so he asks Sheila to leave the room but she insists on staying this suggests that Gerald is not really trustworthy.
He confesses that he did have an affair with Daisy Renton the previous summer. The inspector then questions Mrs. Birling she admits that she did not like Eva Smith’s manner because she used the Birling name and lied about why she had done this. Eric is the next to be questioned he admits to meeting this girl and having a bit to much to drink in the palace bar he then later went back to her lodgings.
After a few more dated Eva told Eric she was going to have a baby they didn’t want to get married so Eric gave her enough money to keep her going but she refuses the money because she thinks that it has been stolen. She was right though it had been stolen off his father’s desk.
This shows that like Gerald Eric is not trustworthy neither. The inspector then leaves, and the family are arguing Gerald tells the family that he doesn’t think that the inspector was real so they phone the local infirmary and they say that there has been no woman brought in who had committed suicide by drinking a bottle of disinfectant.
Everyone is relieved but then the phone rings it’s the police saying a girl has committed suicide on drinking a bottle of disinfectant and a police officer will be coming round to ask some questions. We think now why might the inspector investigate a suicide is this because there seems to be many reasons, which have driven the victim to suicide.
- He might think there is a crime behind and because he wants to make the birling family realize that they are responsible for others and not just for themselves.
- A further aspect of the author’s intention to show, that the whole story is not real.
- I think that the inspector could be there conscience, a means of making people face up to the consequences of their selfish behavior.
At the beginning of the play the mood in the dining room is very happy because they are celebrating the engagement. They are obviously a bit tipsy because Sheila says to Eric “your sqwiffy” meaning that he had drunk a bit too much. But this is soon to change when the inspector calls because it leaves the family feeling guilty the growing feeling effect of the evenings events on the Birling family on a whole: they start to feel involved and start arguing among themselves they feel bitter.
- My first impressions of the Birlings are that they are a rich family and quite stuck up they sometimes act as if none of them could do anything wrong and they are sometimes jealous of other people who have better looks than them we witness this sort of jalousie during the play.
- Because they have many privileges such as money, big house, servants then they should act in a responsible way towards those less fortunate than themselves.
Arthur Birling comes across as a kind of arrogant, pompus and dismissive person. He is a prosperous factory owner, his first priority is to make money and get power! He strongly believes that “a man has to make his own way” and he is looking forward to receiving a knighthood.
He does not accept responsibility to less privileged classes. Sybil Birling likes she likes to stick by the rules, concerned about manners she tells the others what to do and what not to do. She is only interested in the family reputation. She is very conservative, old- fashioned, selfish, cold hearted, snobbish and egoistic.
Sheila birling – is a bit snobbish at the beginning of the play, egoistic and self –confident, but in the end she thinks more clearly, she accepts criticism, she feels sorry for what she had done. Her readiness to learn from experience is in great contrast to her parents.
- Eric Birling is immature at the beginning of the story; he lives an easy-going life, and does not care much about anything.
- He has a drinking problem.
- He behaves half shy and half assertive.
- At the end of the story he starts to think and accepts his guilt, he decides that he might stop drinking.
- Gerald Croft is a good looking, rich and clever: man about town! He is engaged to Sheila and a son of an industrial.
He does not change a lot during the story; he stays a capitalist (just interested about money and profit). He seems to agree completely with Mr. Birling, quite the same attitude towards life. The Inspector enters. This is shown in the stage directions as he “creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness”.
The Inspector gets strait to the business he tells the family a woman has died. Firstly he starts with Arthur the inspector is trying to get him to remember the name Eva Smith he shows Arthur the postcard size photograph he soon remembers who she is and then he moves through the family questioning them one by one.
The Inspector makes the whole family feel responsible because he gets each one to reveal each of the separate parts of what each of them did individually to Eva Smith. The inspector shows the photograph one at a time but for all they know the inspector could be showing them a complete different picture.
They all think that they have a part to play in Eva Smiths suicide all there parts add up to collective responsibility. At the end of act two, the inspector has compliantly destroyed the family’s reputations. Each member of the Birlings has found out something that they did not know about the other. During the play the Inspector keeps looking at his watch, he says “one Eva Smith has gone but there are millions of Eva Smiths still left with us”.
He is saying that one has gone but there are still many left so we should treat each one with the equal amount of respect no matter what class. He was very effective in making the family all feel guilty by not starting anything too obviously, but by using the reactions of the family to the inspector to show how much damage we can cause to others when we are selfish and greedy.
- Priestlys aim was to make the upper classes accept privilege and it also brought responsibility.
- He is successful by making each of the characters change their views after the inspector leaves.
- They relaxed when they thought that the inspector was fake they think that they are off the hook and carry on drinking but Eric is still feeling guilty about Eva Smith.
Because they thought that the inspector wasn’t real they say that they thought something funny was going on and it’s “anything but a joke”. Then the police ring and say that a girl has been brought into the infirmary after drinking a bottle of disinfectant an officer will be over shortly to ask some questions.
At this point, we are left to think what the inspector really was this is what I think. Inspector Goole – Goole = Giest- spirit in death. Is not a real inspector, more something like god because he makes them all feel guilty. His manners are quite extraordinary, rude assertive. One of the main reasons to visit the Birling family is to make them realize, what responsibilities they have and their behavior has an influence on others.
The moral of the play is that we are all members of one body, we are responsible for each other. : An Inspector Calls
Is The Inspector a time traveler?
The Inspector is an immortal time traveler who traverses the farthest reaches of time and space, accompanied by his trusted Associates. Along the way, they solve mysteries, help the helpless. Read all The Inspector is an immortal time traveler who traverses the farthest reaches of time and space, accompanied by his trusted Associates.
Is the inspector in An Inspector Calls an angel?
However, the supernaturalnature of the Inspector becomes apparent as the play progresses, as the homophoneof Goole (‘ghoul’) suggests. purposefulness’. The Inspector takes on the role of an omniscient(all-knowing), moral force for good. Priestley presents his character as a spiritual avenging angel .
Who realises Inspector Goole wasn t a real person?
Climax: Gerald returns to the Birling home after Goole has left, to report that the Inspector wasn’t actually a real inspector, and to hypothesize that the whole thing was a hoax—that there was no single girl that all of the Birlings had offended, and no suicide that they precipitated.
Is An Inspector Calls a tragedy
1 Tragedy – in this play, an unseen character dies as a result of 2 Secrets and Lies the flaws and errors of the characters on the stage.
What does Mr Birling represent?
Mr Birling is a capitalist who values business and profit above all else. He makes his views clear in the early speeches in Act 1, and these do not change. Priestley uses Mr Birling as a symbol to represent the selfishness and arrogance of capitalists in Edwardian society.
What does the Titanic Symbolise in An Inspector Calls?
In An Inspector Calls, the Titanic represents Mr. Birling’s overconfidence and refusal to consider alternative possibilities.
What does Mr Birling say that is dramatically ironic?
He says that the Titanic is ‘unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable’, that war is ‘impossible’ and ‘nonsense’ and there will be no more ‘Capital versus labour agitations’ all of these happened and so makes Birling’s view unreliable.
Who was most at fault in An Inspector Calls?
In An Inspector Calls, Mrs. Birling is the most to blame for Eva Smith’s death.
Who is the most important character in An Inspector Calls
Eva Smith, it could be argued, is the most important character in An Inspector Calls: from the moment her name is first mentioned, her shadow hangs over every page. Indeed, when the play is over and we read back over those first scenes, her presence can be felt from the very beginning: from Gerald’s evasive manoeuvres when reminded of his elusiveness ‘last summer’ to Birling’s enthusiasm for lower costs and higher prices which foreshadow his treatment of Eva Smith.
- This week we are looking at the importance of Eva Smith.
- If you’re looking for a fantastic revision resource for this, then look no further than Mr Salles video on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4Rkaxr66f4 This is a superbly detailed analysis of Eva’s role and her importance to the play.
- Names: Remember that names are important – the writer has chosen these for a reason and will spend some time on deciding on a character’s name.
For example, Sybil Birling: the name ‘sybil’ derives from a mythological figure – a prophetess who could divine the future, whose prophecies often took the form of riddles. She asked Apollo to give her eternal life which he granted – with a twist: he gave her eternal life (and with it unbounded wisdom and knowledge) but not youth and she became so old and shrivelled, wishing only to die.
- In fact, in some versions of the myth, she is reduced to just a voice.
- The figure of the sybil thus becomes a metaphor for ‘being careful what you wish for’ as well as a reminder of our hubris and impotence – the sybil knows everything and nothing.
- If you think about Priestley’s character, she too offers the audience an insight into the future – she suggests that the Inspector look to the father of Eva Smith’s child if he wants to find the guilty party.
In her apparent ‘wisdom’ she condemns herself of course to ‘eternal’ torment. ‘Be careful what you wish for’ is highly appropriate for Mrs Birling whose judgement on the father of Eva’s child is visited on Eric most dramatically in the final act of the play. Interestingly, the two names of Eva/Daisy also link to the idea of nature and an innocence lost. Eve is a symbol of ‘man’s downfall – excuse the lack of gender neutrality – but in the case of An Inspector Calls, she really does bring about a downfall: not of ‘mankind’ but of the Birlings and all they represent. This is a play about the exploitation of women. Remember that a method is anything that the writer does on purpose to create an effect. So Priestley’s choice of a woman as a victim of the Birlings’ greed and exploitation is deliberate. Not only does Eva represent the treatment of female workers during the Edwardian era but – as her name represents – she is a symbol of all woman at all times.
Understand Eva and you will understand the whole of the play. The play was set in a period which felt the winds of change across the world.1914 is often seen as the beginning of the modern age, the first world war bringing to an end the old world of certainty and progress. An Inspector Calls is set in 1912 – the year the Titanic sank, an event which itself can be seen as a symbol of humanity’s hubris.
But this period in time also saw the rise of the suffragette movement which fought for women’s right to vote. The clip is from a 2004 film called ‘Iron Jawed Angels’ starring Hilary Swank which tells the story of American suffragettes. In the film Swank’s character is force-fed as punishment for her hunger strike. You can find it here but be careful – it is quite disturbing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO70ZjZ0wrw Women’s bodies became a site of conflict with the authorities.
- By controlling them, the old ruling guard of a patriarchal order could hang on to the ‘old ways’.
- Women were prevented from gathering in public places for fear that their radical ideas might spread.
- But as Carey Mulligan’s character declares in the recent film Suffragette, “We’re in every home.
- We’re half the human race.
You can’t stop us all.” So is Priestley a feminist? Well in 1953, he wrote that “the dislike and distrust of women pervades contemporary American fiction” but he was also seen as a womaniser (Gerald anyone?). His novels and plays contained strong female characters and his socialist beliefs meant that he believed in emancipation for women and Eva Smith is a symbol for women’s oppression at that time. Below are a series of slides from the lessons this week. Look for a quote to support show how Eric, Gerald and Sheila reflect the idea that women were judged by their looks Some suggest (and the Inspector is amongst them) that Gerald ‘at least had some affection for her and made her happy for a time’. However, he could also be seen as an opportunist: he visits a regular ‘haunt’ of women of the town – why? Well, we know why but what does this tell us about him – he was, after all, in a serious relationship with Sheila Birling.
He had the opportunity: Eva/Daisy was clearly in trouble, drawing unwelcome attention from Alderman Heggarty; he had the means – his friend had left town and there just happened to be some free rooms. He admits that he meant more to her than she to him and he ends the relationship when it suits himself.
‘Gallant’? I don’t think so. Eric also treats Eva with little to no respect: look at these quotations here and think about how he uses language to cover up his violent and misogynistic behaviour. Below are a few slides which we’ll be using in class to inspire some analytical writing. Notice that I’m trying to get students to ‘begin with AO3′ – see the last slide – as I feel that it enables them to write more meaningful analyses.
What did Priestley want Inspector Calls?
A theme is an idea that runs throughout a text. In An Inspector Calls, the themes of social responsibility, age, gender and class are explored.
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During the early 20th-century there was no government support for the poor An Inspector Calls was first performed in the UK just after the end of World War Two, in 1946. It was a time of great change in Britain and many writers were concerned with the welfare of the poor.
- At that time there was no assistance for people who could not afford to look after themselves.
- Priestley wanted to address this issue.
- He also felt that if people were more considerate of one another, it would improve quality of life for all.
- This is why social responsibility is a key theme of the play.
Priestley wanted his audience to be responsible for their own behaviour and responsible for the welfare of others.
What was the purpose of Inspector Goole?
Priestley uses Inspector Goole as an imposing omnipotent being who is used to highlight the issues of society. Priestley wants the middle and upper classes to stop being selfish and exploiting the poor for their own financial gain, but instead be more generous and empathetic towards other members of the working class.
When did JB Priestly write Inspector Calls
Priestley, J B | Mini-Bios John Boynton Priestley was born as ‘John Priestley’ in 1894, choosing later to add ‘Boynton’ to his name. The First World War broke out in 1914, when Priestley was just 20 years old. By this time he had already discovered his love for literature and was a promising young writer with a column in his local newspaper and a number of published political articles under his belt.
- However, he set all of this aside and voluntarily joined the army to fight for his country.
- In 1915, just one year later, he was sent to the front line.
- Here he experienced the full hell of war, and saw many of his comrades killed.
- After being seriously injured he was sent home to recover, but when he was well enough he was sent back to the front line in 1917 and survived being gassed by poison gas.
He was 45 when the Second World War broke out in 1939, and he didn’t fight in it. However, he was very politically active throughout the war, and claimed that society needed to change if it was to avoid another war. Priestley is often labelled a ‘socialist’ and he was, indeed, involved in socialist movements and was a founder of CND (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament).
- However, his feelings were complex and he did not think that socialism was the answer to everything.
- J B Priestley wrote An Inspector Calls in 1945, the year that saw the Second World War come to an end.
- Not surprisingly, the central theme of the play is war.
- Although the play is written in 1945, it is set in 1912.
All the action of the play occurs just two years before the First World War breaks out. By choosing to set the play in this period, J B Priestley can write about the attitudes of a typical upper-middle-class British family in pre-war England, and use them to reflect the broader attitudes of British society.
|Priestley’s mother died when he was two years old.|
|He left Belle Vue Grammar School aged 16 and went to work as a clerk at the wool firm Helm and Co.|
|Priestley started writing at night and had some articles published in both local and London newspapers. Yorkshire was a large influence on his work.|
|On 7th September, he volunteered to join the 10th Battalion, the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment.|
|He was badly wounded in June and spent months convalescing.|
|Priestley was commissioned as an officer in the Devonshire Regiment and posted back to France.|
|After the war, he studied for a degree in Modern History and Politics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.|
|He married Emily ‘Pat’ Tempest, a Bradford librarian, and they had two daughters.|
|Priestley married Jane Wyndham-Lewis, and they had two daughters.|
|His first play, Dangerous Corner, was extremely popular in the West End.|
|Priestley broadcast a BBC programme called Postscript, which was cancelled after some members of the government thought his views were too socialist.|
|The play was first put on in Russia and wasn’t performed in the UK until the following year.|
|He divorced Jane and married archaeologist and writer Jacquetta Hawkes.|
|Priestley was a founding member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).|
|He was awarded the Freedom of the City of Bradford.|
|The library at the University of Bradford was named J B Priestley Library.|
|Priestley died of pneumonia on 14th August 1984. His ashes were buried in his native Yorkshire, in Hubberholme Churchyard, Wharfedale.|
|A statue of Priestley was unveiled in Bradford.|
Priestley, J B | Mini-Bios