An Inspector Calls
An Inspector Calls is a morality play (A drama with a clear message, guiding the audience to behave in a morally correct way) or a ‘whodunit’ (a detective story)
Priestly wrote it to express his socialist views
The play reveals truth, teaches moral message about responsibility and warns of consequences if message not heeded
- Play set in 1912, written in 1945
- ‘An Inspector Calls’ is set in the fictional industrial city of Brumley.
- Takes place in one location
- Set in the home of a prosperous factory owner
- Play shows the difference in lifestyle between those who had money and power and those who didn’t and depended on work
· The First World War would start in two years. Birling's optimistic view that there would not be a war is completely wrong.
· Mr Birling is excited about the sailing of The Titanic: famously, the ship sank on her maiden voyage. This puts the audience at an advantage over the characters and makes us more involved.
· Mrs. Birling inevitably finds out Eric was the one who got Eva Smith pregnant, when beforehand she stated “some drunken young idler” which highlights that she put the blame on the man that made her pregnant which turned out to be Eric
· When the inspector rings the doorbell of the house, Birling is explaining to Eric and Gerald about responsibility; the inspector explains the moral meaning of responsibility and shows Mr. Birling he is wrong.
· Represents the sin of avarice (or greed)
· One dimensional character
· Capitalist stock type
· He has worked his way up in the world and is proud of his achievements. He boasts about having been Mayor and tries (and fails) to impress the Inspector with his local standing and his influential friends
· He is extremely selfish:
- He wants to protect himself and his family. He believes that socialist ideas that stress the importance of the community is "nonsense" and that "a man has to make his own way."
- He wants to protect Birling and Co. He cannot see that he did anything wrong when he fired Eva Smith - he was just looking after his business interests.
- He wants to protect his reputation. As the Inspector's investigations continue, his selfishness gets the better of him: he is worried about how the press will view the story in Act II, and accuses Sheila of disloyalty at the start of Act III. He wants to hide the fact that Eric stole money: "I've got to cover this up as soon as I can."
· Too arrogant to learn his lesson
· Class conscious and anxious: ‘’there will be a public scandal – unless we’re lucky’’
· Selfish: ‘’A man has to make his own way’’