An Inspector Calls
Compare and contrast two characters from the play “An Inspector Calls”. Explain how Priestly communicates his ideas through them to the audience whilst entertaining them.
* Social and historical context,
* 1914-1918 WWI,
* Depression 1920s-1930s,
* 1939-1945 WWII,
* Priestley’s intentions – socialist views,
* Dramatic devices and how they are used,
* How language is used to present their characters,
* Impact on the audience and,
* Structure of the play.
John Priestly (the writer of “An Inspector Calls”) became troubled about the outcome of social inequality in Britain, 1930 and in 1942 he and some others set up the ...view middle of the document...
The first person to be interrogated by the Inspector is Mr Birling. After a while Mr Birling admits to have known Eva Smith because she was one of his employees.
At first glance Inspector Goole is not a physically big man but he produces a feeling of “massiveness” and that he has a purpose and will not leave until he has achieved that purpose. The Inspector is described as a middle aged man dressed in a normal suit and chooses his words carefully and thoughtfully. He has a “disconcerting habit of looking hard at the person he addresses before actually speaking” almost as if he knows something about them and what they are hiding.
Arthur Birling is an affluent business man who is quite wealthy, very authoritative and powerful. He believes that “a man has to make his own way” while the Inspector says in his last speech (before he leaves) that “we are responsible for each other. Priestley’s views are heavily expressed in Inspector Goole’s speech.
Priestley’s views and beliefs were conveyed through the Inspectors character so therefore I can compare Mr Birling and the Inspector or Priestley’s notion on power. Mr Birling has a slight “obsession” with power and social class. In the first scene he enjoy showing off his port to Gerald because it’s the same quality of port Gerald’s father purchases and his father is very well off. Arthur Birling also boasts about how there is a chance he will be knighted. In contrast to Mr Birling’s ideas, Priestley and the Inspector believe that power and property should be set aside and more important affairs should be acknowledged by the public such as being a part of a community and supporting one another. Priestley discusses on war and society suggesting, “We want a world that offers people not the dubious pleasures of power, but the maximum opportunities for creation”.
When Priestly says “dubious pleasures of power” we begin to think of Mr Birling. All the power of a possible knighting and joining Gerald’s fathers company has gotten to his head. Although Mr Birling wants to protect his family his relationship with his children destroys because of their differences of opinions. In the next part of the quote Priestley says, “The maximum opportunities for creation” which leads us to think about Eva Smiths situation. Mr Birling fired her from her job because she wanted a higher pay and this did not give her any opportunities to do well and succeed.
When the Inspector first arrives Mr Birling throws a threat towards him just to show that he knows the Brumley police rather well and if anything happens he will report Inspector Goole immediately. To be frank, the Inspector doesn’t really care and carries on coolly with his investigation. The Inspector shows that he is not afraid of Mr Birling and interrupts him several times to show he just wants to uncover the truth and make the Birling’s and Gerald aware of what roles they played in Eva Smith’s suicide. Even though Eva only died a short while ago he knows...