An Inspector Calls essay about responsibility

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  • Created by: ashly
  • Created on: 29-05-13 14:35

Arthur Birling says, “If we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we’d had anything to do with, it would be very awkward, wouldn’t it? How does Priestley present ideas about responsibility in the play?

Priestley uses the Inspector the most to present his ideas of responsibility.  By questioning one person at a time, he brought some sort of responsibility on each character for the death of Eva smith; he tells them “each of you helped to kill her." Unlike the other characters, the inspector from the beginning, talks about collective social responsibility: “we don’t leave alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other.” The inspector’s view of collective responsibility is similar to Priestley‘s socialist view.  Through the inspector, Priestley sends a clear warning to those who ignore this responsibility: “And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, when they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.” Even though in the play, these words are mainly aimed at the Mr and Mrs Birling, who refuse to accept responsibility, this is a warning for the audience. As the play is written in 1945, Priestley knows that after the two world wars, men did learn to change in “fire and blood and anguish” and the society changed for the better. So this really is a message to the audience, warning them not to go back to the 1912 society.

 On the other hand, Priestley presents Mr Birling and Mrs Birling from the beginning of the play as people who refuse to accept any responsibility

Comments

honey_.

....I think this is inspector calls :)

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