An Inspector Calls

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  • Created on: 17-05-18 12:55

"A chain of events" (Inspector Goole)

It highlights that they were all to blame. They each made Eva's life miserable one after the other. They were all responsible for her death. This could represent JB Priestleys socialistic views because the socialistic ideology is that we are all responsible for the health and wellbeing of others and the rich should help the poor. The Birlings did not accept these socialistic views and it resulted in them all being responsible for Eva's death. This reinforces the socialistic message that we are all responsible for one another and it further favours Priestleys and Inspector Gooles socialistic ideology as a largely negative event has stemmed from havings thoughts like the Birlings.

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"She kept a rough sort of diary." (Inspector Goole

"She kept a rough sort of diary. And she said there that she had to go away and be quiet and remember "just to make it last longer." She felt there'd never be anything as good again for her - so she had to make it last longer." The use of the words "rough sort of" create a sense of uncertainty and suggest that there may not even be a diary and that maybe the Inspector could be the ghost of Eva Smith as suggested by the name "Goole." the fact that the Inspector knew and understood what Eva felt like further suggests that he could be the ghost of Eva. This is symbolic of how the Inspector speaks up for the poor as they have no voice in this society. He is used to provide a social conscience for the audience and the Birlings. He is shown to defend the poor again at the end in his concluding speech where he mentions "millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths" he illustrates how many poor people there are which further illustrates the lack of social responsibility there is. He uses phrases like "their hopes and fears, their suffering and a chane of happiness" to make his audience feel sympathetic towards the poor. The audience at the time would have been the bourgeoisie, as they would have been the only people able to afford to watch the play. The bourgeoisie is exactly the people that needed to hear this so they could understand that they need to make a change and take responsibility for the wellbeing of the poor. The Inspector ideally highlighted the suffering of the poor and the seriousness of the social divide. He proved that although a person may be financially superior, it means nothing  if your not morally superior.

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An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley was written shortly after the Second World War. WWII united people of all classes to work together and fight for the good of the country and to protect the society. During this time, the class distinctions had lessened as WWII demonstrated that there is no difference between between the upper and lower class and attitudes began to change. After the second world war, a socialist party was elected for the first time in numerous years. Socialism enforced that we all have a responsibility to economically and socially assist evryone in the society, this ideology would encourage the abolishment of class divisions. Priestley supported this and had socialistic views.When the play was written, socialism was thriving. However, this play was set in 1912 when capitalism was common. Priestley set the play during this time to remind his audience of the negative imoacts of capitalism so that socialism would continue thriving.

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"Cutting in massively" (Inspector Goole)


- he needs to silence them, he is the only person who silences Birling, illustrates how social status means nothing to him.

- He is superior/ more important as his message is worth listening to and his ideologies should be adopted by the audience.

- His message is shown to be better because negative consequences accompanied the capitalistic and miserly views.

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eva quotes

- "Until she refused to take any more" (talking about money)

- "There are millions and millions of Eva Smith"

- "She had a lot to say - far too much - she had to go"

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Shiela quotes

"mummy" - naive/innocent. audience has a liking for her.

"i know im to blame" - taking responsibility unlike audience , admirable

she has adopted the ways of her parents who have old fashined views but she begins to change.

"but these girls aren't cheap labour- they're people." - her views start chnaging, becoming more socialistic

the inspector plays a key role in changing shiela, she is young, impressionable, open-minded. the inspector is her first time being exposed to socialistic viewa. the only reason she had capitalistic views was because fo her upbringing in the birlung family. by her own choice, she chooses socialism.

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Gerald quotes

son of a successful businessman.

- "everythings alright now" - shows he was more concerned about getting caught than his actions. He doesn't feel remorse, talking casually as if nothing has happened. suggests he doesn't love her, business perposes only.

"you know, it wasn't disgusting."

" I broke it off definitely before i went." used her.

didnt truly love any of them. womaniser. men of that time. 

used her for sex, similar to how rich use poor when the need time (for labour). has everything handed on a plate, so he has spare time to get drunk and have sex.

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eric quotes

he has to "learn" before he can work - shows how he is not ok with the way his family is forcing into a future of exploiting the poor. socialistic views. doesn't share the same views as his parents. we learn he has a drinking problem ("squiffy.") he must drink to relieve the pressure to conform and share his parents views.

"you lot may be letting yourselves out nicely, but i cant." - shows remorse, he is good but has no self control. he even gave her money in an attempt to help her. he had good intentions.

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Mr birling quotes

titanic is "unsinkable" - audience reject his ideas, they share some of his idiotic views.

"community and all that nonsense."

"the way some of these cranks talk, you'd think that everybody has to look after everybody else."

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mrs birling quotes

"well, really! Alderman Meggarty!" , "It isn't true, you know him, Gerald" she is surprised when she hears of an upperclass person doing something wrong. She thinks that the upper class are morally superior and the poor are immoral - "as if a girl of that sort would ever refuse money." she thinks they have no self respect or dignity and she looks down on them herself.

represents older generations,as more selfish/inconsiderate. harsher/crueler.

she is struggling to take responsibility and is pushing blame on to others. - "it wasn't i who had her turned out of employment."

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