An inspector calls



Written - 1945 by Priestley

Set in - 1912

J.B. Priestley was a socialist. Believed; Everyone should share value instead of private owners. Managment and sharing are suppose to be based on public interest. Everything in society should be made by cooperative efforts of people. 

Priestley has socialist views as society was split into classes. If you was lower you suffered (portrayed throguh Eva Smith)

Priestley uses Mr Birling to represent capitalism. He contrasts to inspector. Uses dramatic irony.

Different women in the play represented differently. Mrs Birling; Husbands social superior. Charity to look better. Sheila; Younger generation, responsible. Upper class but changed "they're people" Eva; Missused by men. Contrast w Sheila. Lower class. 

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Type of play

Well-made play; Action builds to climax, massive speech from Goole. Events are influenced by what happened to Eva Smith before play takes place. This structure allows Priestley to manipulate audience. They don'tt know whatt happened to Eva so each revelation adds drama. There is a twist at the end which gives audience time to reflect on events of play. 

Morality play; Teach audience lessons. Shows if character repented then they could redeem themselves. Uses to teach about social responsibility, age, gender + class. The audience can judge these characters and forced to question own behavior. 

Crime thriller; Tells a gripping tale based around a crime. Action centres around death of Eva. As its suicide and not murder it would seem there is no clear suspect. Encourages audience to become involved in events of play. They'tre considering who is more to blame for the death. The audience question characters and behaviour and wonder if they committed 'crimes' like Birlings.

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Quotes - Mr Birling

"A rather portentous man …rather provincial in his speech." (Stage direction) 

"Unsinkable, absolutely unsinkable" Titanic symbolises his family, believes they're untouchable. It is dramatic irony. 

"I gather there's a very good chance of knighthood" 'I' convey selfish attitude, imperatives. But, later on he switches to 'we' inclusive pronoun to diminish the scale of the problem and shift blame.

"I was an alderman for years - and lord mayor - and i'm still on the bench - so I know the police officers well" Langauge change when inspector arrives to short fragments.

"The famous younger generation who know it all. And they can’t even take a joke"

"You'd think everybody has to look after everybody else, as if we was all mixed up like bees in a hive - community and that nonsence" Language becomes more colloquial 'y'know' which conveys authority breaking down. 

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Quotes - Mrs Birling

"A rather cold woman and her husband’s social superior" (Stage directions)

"Girls of that class" Her language is abrupt and dismissive. She believes she is morally and socailly superior to them. Represents social snobbery and hypocrisy.

"I'm very sorry. But I think she only had herself to blame" Shows no remorse in cruel treatment of Eva Smith. 

"I have done nothing wrong - and you know it... No-Eric-please" Later her language broken into fragments that don't connect. This echos the break down of her self confidence and complacency of comfortable, wealthy characters. Dashes also represent break down of relationship.

"Go and look for the father of the child. It's his responsibility" Uses imperatives which convey her superiority/confidence/self-assurance. Presented as absurb character that ironically pass social gulit to son. She falls into trap of her own making, she is confronted that Erc is a hatrd drinker who is the father.

"I accept no blame at all" 

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Quotes - Sheila Birling

"Very pleased with life and rather excited" (Stage directions)

"Yes, go on, Mummy" Immature 'mummy'. Personal pronouns refect selfish, childish attitude at start. As play progress she calls her 'mother' which shows she doesn't feel as intimate with her mother, lost her respect due to her behaviour. 

"But these grls aren't chep labour-they're people" Sympathetic to Eva and other girls in her position. She accepts what impact she had on Eva so learns, responsible. 

"And if I could help her now I would-"

"He's giving us the rope-so we'll hang ourselves" Metaphor. How inspector manipulates to confess.

"So nothing's happened. there's nothing to be sorry for. nothing to learn" language becomes passionate, sarcasm.

"I suppose we're nice peole now" Uses irony when appaled by parents attitudes. She disagrees w parents, she knows the moral consequences of her actions. Tension with young/old generation.

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Quotes - Eric Birling

"Half shy, half assertive" (Stage directions)

"Why shouldn’t they try for higher wages?" Actts as dramatic irritant to father challenging his ideology. Contradicting him/interupting/asking questions

"He could of kept her instead of throwing her out. I call it tough luck" Active social conscience, there is potential/hope for furture. At end he shows remorse and takes responsibility.

"I wasn't in love with her- but i liked her- she was prettyt and a good sport-" An abhorrent picture of upper class emerges. They're cold + callous.

"Then- you killed killed her- and the child- my child- your grandchild- you killed them both" Violent. Language contrasts with politness earlier in play. 

"(shouting) And I say the girl’s dead and we all helped to kill her– and that’s what matters-" When inspector leaves Eric emulates inspector using hatrsh, commanding language. Reminds audience to look at own conscience. 

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Quotes - Gerald Croft

"very much the well-bred young man about town" (Stage directions)

"Why should you stay? It's bound to be unpleasant and disturbing" Gerald echos Mrs B concern to protect Eva against patrionizing view on women. 

"I insisted on Daisy moving into those rooms… because I was sorry for her"

"I’m rather more upset by this business than I probably appear to be"

"Everything’s all right now Sheila. What about this ring?" 

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Quotes - Inspector Goole

"Creates at once an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness" (Stage direction)

"Lighting becomes “brighter and harder” when he arrives"

(To Gerald) "You think young women ought to be protected against unpleasant and disturbing things" Turns each characters word or actions back upon them. Theme of reversal runs thru

"There are millions and millions and millions of Eva Smiths and John Smiths" extended metaphor. Represents number of working ppl exploited by greed of capitalism. Help the 'socialists'. Simplicity of common names link to morality play, audience relates.

"We don’t live alone. We are members of one body" 'we' inculsive pronoun that contrasts Mr/Mrs B 'I'. 'We' emphaises collective reponsibility and how society should be formed. Prophetic language

"Will be taught in fire and blood and anguish" Bible-end of world. 'Goole' is messenger from god to war those on earth of consequences. Could be social revolution where 'poor' stand against upper class causing divide and 'blood'. 

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