Wednesday, October 2, 2019

An Inspector Calls :: English Literature

An Inspector calls is set in 1912 and was written for a 1946 audience. What can it have to offer an audience in 2002? An Inspector calls. 'An Inspector calls' was written by J.B. Priestly in 1945, and was first shown to an audience in 1946. It was set in 1912, before the Second World War had started, and was to be shown, after the Second World War had ended. 'An inspector calls' is a dramatic, moralistic thriller. It is set around the death of a young woman: Eva Smith. The play begins with the Birling family celebrating the engagement of their daughter Sheila, to the wealthy Gerald Croft. In this part of the play you learn a lot about the social system of that era, the way people acted, and the way they thought. The doorbell, and the arrival of an Inspector interrupt their 'celebration'. From now on the mood changes, contrasting the light-hearted and happy mood; it now becomes tense and serious. The Inspector reveals each characters involvement in the death of Eva Smith, side by side with the flaws and evils in each characters' personality. This slowly reveals to the audience that the Inspector is a lot more then he seems, and that the play is not only a 'murder mystery', but also resembles a moralistic play of the middle ages, but in it's own socialistic manner. It also shows the flaws in the social system at the times, which are displayed in each character, and in the consequences of their acts. The audience are shown how some people ignore the reality of their actions, and even after seeing the consequence of their actions, refuse to change. Mr and Mrs Birling are portrayed as selfish and ignorant of their actions, while Sheila and Eric, as a contrast, have fully realised their mistakes and have changed the way they think. The inspector is successful in changing two of the characters, but is not successful in the rest. Priestly is in a way playing the Inspector, to his audience, showing them the consequences of their actions, and what will happen if they do not change. 'An Inspector calls' has many underlying messages, most of which are still relevant to us today. The question as to whether 'An inspector calls' is out of date, is a long argued and debated question. Both sides of the argument have valid points, and in order to come to a fair decision, you must consider both these sides of the argument. I am going to consider three statements about 'An Inspector calls' and after studying each one, am gong to come up with a decision.

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