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J.B. Priestley ,

An Ins;Jpector Calls
Revision Guide
Page 1: The chronology of the play
Page 2: Themes
Page 2: Plot and structure . \
Page 3: What is the significance of Priestley writing ~ play in:1946 which is set in 1912?
,.;p,.age 5: Who is the Inspec..t~? ---~~…

Page 2

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Social responsibility - everyone is responsible for evet]one else. Who says this? Knows this?
Learns this? Refuses to accept this? Group people in term~ of how they respond to these
Personal responsibility: who does -and does not - accept responsibility for his or her own
actions? How closely…

Page 3

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What is the significance of Priestley writing a play in 1946 which is
set in 1912?

The play opens with a scene of great luxury: a wealthy family is celebrating an engagement in a
very lavish fashion. This will be obvious to an audience that has spent the Second World…

Page 4

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match for her son .. Note that both Mrs Birling and Lady Croft have married 'down' socially-
-presumably for money. Class therefore operates at every level in this play. Birling's knighthood
will bring hinf closer to the Crofts (though still not equal) and is clearly his main concern when

Page 5

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--w. ,

,anger by refusing help to the girls themselves instead. Think about how Mrs Birling insists upon
the responsibility of the father - this could almost be a kind of feminism.

When you have looked at all of these ideas, you should consider the question in a…

Page 6

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· His foreknowledge of Eva's death and intimate knowledge of Eva's life although he never
spoke to he~ .
· His prediction of a massive social catastrophe ("fire and blood and anguish") which
clearly refers (for the Birlings) to the First World War and (for the audience) to both

Page 7

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Looking at two characters in detail: Mr Bitting and Sheila
Mr Birling
· prosperous factory owner, not the social equal of his
. .
wife. He is 'a self made man'
· first priority is to make money '!t'y my duty to keep labour cost down'
· welcomes Croft into…

Page 8

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· at the start ofthe play she is 'very pleased with life'. She is young, attractive and has just
become engaged
· her happiness is soon to be destroyed as is her faith in her family
.· her response to the tragedy is one of the few encouraging things…


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