English - An Inspector Calls, Context

  • Created by: HannaYB
  • Created on: 05-06-19 17:16
The play is set in the Early Edwardian Era
J.B Priestley was a writer
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The play was written 1945, but is set in 1912
In 1945, society was changing for the better after World War Two
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In 1912, there was extensive inequality between social classes, and men and women
The play highlights socialism, capitalism and society’s progression
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In Edwardian Britain, 80% of the population were of working class (compared to 20% upper and middle class)
The Birling’s are a upper-middle class capitalist family
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The Titanic (sank 1912) is mentioned
At the time, the Titanic was the largest ship ever built
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The Titanic had three ‘classes’ of tickets (which echoed the three social classes)
Over 1,500 people died on the Titanic’s maiden voyage (Southampton to New York)
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In 1912, women did not have the vote
Some women had to turn to prostitution in order to survive living in poverty
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Women were expected to marry in every social class
Society was very patriarchal
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Women were expected to obey their husbands
Women had few job opportunities
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In the First World War (after An Inspector Calls) women had access to a wide range of jobs
Women were able to prove they were as capable as men during the First World War
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The Suffragettes achieved the right to vote in 1918 (but only for women who owned property)
The World Wars brought people from different classes together
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People realised they were equals during the First World War
After the First World War, people didn’t want this newfound equality to change
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From the 1920s to the 1940s many workers striked
The First World War proved the value of the working class to society
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At the time when An Inspector Calls is set, J.B Priestley was 18, could Eric and Sheila be portrayals of him (in addition to or instead of the Inspector)?
The 1960s and 1970s saw the emergence of feminist groups and raised awareness of gender equality
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Sheila has been taught by the patriarchal society that a women’s worth is judged on her beauty, so asks if Eva was ‘Pretty’
This suggests the patriarchal society has corrupted women, and perhaps Priestley wanted to convey this to his audience
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In 1970 the Equal Pay Act was created and in 1975 the Discrimination Act was passed
Perhaps it wasn’t initially received well as it feminist and socialist messages were not accepted by a capitalist and patriarchal society
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Allegory for the younger generation, Sheila could represent how women were overlooked in society and considered less than their male counterpart
The play is hailed as a damning social criticism of capitalism and middle-class hypocrisy
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The play was written 1945, but is set in 1912

Back

In 1945, society was changing for the better after World War Two

Card 3

Front

In 1912, there was extensive inequality between social classes, and men and women

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

In Edwardian Britain, 80% of the population were of working class (compared to 20% upper and middle class)

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

The Titanic (sank 1912) is mentioned

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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