This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls As Detective Fiction

2861 words - 12 pages

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls as Detective Fiction

The play “An Inspector Calls” starts of in the genre of detective
fiction. But, as the play goes on, the reader realises that the genre
does also fit into politics and mystery. The play has many conventions
of detective fiction that misleads the reader, not through out but
near the end of the play. When the reader finds out that there is no
revelation scene, one suspects that this play is not detective
fiction, but another genre disguised as detective fiction. This shows
that the true genre of the play is detective pastiche.

The play “An Inspector Calls” is about an upper-middle class family
...view middle of the document...

Mr. Birling admits his actions, although in most other detective
fiction, the inspector would find it hard to make a person admit. In
“An Inspector Calls”, the Inspector is omniscient of everything, so
there is no need for him to ask for answers, his real aim is to make
his suspects know that they are wrong.

Mr. Birling is accused of starting ‘“A chain of events”’, as Inspector
Goole calls it. The chain of events leads to Eva Smith committing

“Two hours ago a young woman died in the Infirmary. She’d been taken
there this afternoon because she’d swallowed a lot of strong
disinfectant. Burnt her inside out… suicide, of course”.

As any suspect would, Mr. Birling acts defensively, trying to push
away the accusations put on against him: “Still I can’t accept any

A suspect defending himself is another convention of detective

So far in the play these have been the things related to detective
fiction: a accusation, a death, a victim/suspect , and the suspect
defending himself. The diction related to detective fiction so far is
: “died” and “responsibility”. The audience at this time do believe
that the play is detective fiction, because of the conventions and
diction used within a detective fiction.

After the accusation on Mr. Birling’s, the Inspector turns to the
next character. The next character that is accused is Sheila Birling,
daughter of Mr. Birling. Sheila was the person who got Eva Smith out
of her next job at Milwards. After leaving Birlings’ company, Eva
Smith was desperate for money, so she got a job at Milwards- a garment
store, which happened to be Sheila’s favourite shop. One day, Sheila
went to Milwards to look for a dress and she spotted one. Eva Smith
brought it to her and when asked something by the assistant, Eva held
the dress up to herbody. The dress suited her perfectly. But when
Sheila put the dress on, it didn’t suit her at all. She was furious.
Then she caught Eva Smith smiling, as if to say “Doesn’t she look
awful”. Sheila was jealous that the dress suited Eva, so she got the
wrong impression of the smile. In consequence to that, she complained
to the manager to have Eva sacked or she would never shop at Milwards
again and her mother would close their bank account with the shop. As
a result Eva was sacked.

As with Mr. Birling’s accusation, the Inspector is omniscient and
knows that Sheila was the person who got Eva out of her job:

“I had an idea it might be- from something the girl herself wrote”.

The inspector says he gathered all this evidence from Eva’s writing,
there is no evidence, he shows them the picture but not the writing.
The Inspector is still omniscient. He makes Sheila learn lesson of the
actions she commited that day at milwards. Unlike Mr. Birling, Sheila
is deeply...

Other Essays Like J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls As Detective Fiction

An Inspector Calls Essay

2596 words - 11 pages Length: 2561 words (7.3 double-spaced pages) Rating: Red (FREE)       - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Analyse the character of the Inspector in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley.  Discuss his:  * Role in the play  * Effect on the other characters  * Stage presence  When the Inspector first knocks on the front door, it is dramatic  irony because Arthur just said a matter of seconds

An Inspector Calls Essay

3295 words - 14 pages Drama: An Inspector Calls- Task One ----------------------------------- Written in 1946, "An Inspector Calls" takes us into the comfortable and complacent world of the Birling family who are disturbed during a celebration by the arrival of a mysterious police inspector. A young girl has committed suicide and it is revealed how all members of one family contributed to it. "An Inspector Calls" resorts to the ripping off of masks that we

An Inspector Calls Analysis

1498 words - 6 pages An Inspector Calls, as its curtain rises, does not seem particularly different from many other plays popular in the same period. A middle-class family sits around a table, having just enjoyed a satisfying dinner, and the maid clears the table. The scene sets the expectation that this is going to be a family drama, maybe even a comedy, and the focus will be on this happy family environment. Yet, Priestley’s play undergoes a subtle shift in mood

An Inspector Calls By J.B.Priestley

1986 words - 8 pages An Inspector Calls by J.B.Priestley "Priestley's play is unusual in that a character, the Inspector, could be said to direct the action of the play." This is a comment made by a theatre critic about the play "An Inspector Calls", and the character, Inspector Goole. By studying the play, I find that I can justify myself in agreeing with the critic's statement; that the Inspector does direct and control the action of

An Inspector Calls - Theatre Essay 3

972 words - 4 pages An Inspector Calls - Theatre Essay Introduction: This superbly crafted play by J.B Priestly ‘An Inspector Calls’ was written in 1945 and set in 1912. The play was written at the time of the Second World War. The specific setting is as the Titanic is to set sail for America. The world was also thinking about going to war with Germany for the first time. Life for the poor in 1912 was very insecure. There was a lack of a Welfare State

Sheila and Eric Are Important in an Inspector Calls

617 words - 3 pages 'real' inspector because they have already admitted what they have done wrong, and will change. Sheila and Eric see the human side of Eva's story and are very troubled by their part in it; they examine their conscience. This change in their behaviour and relationships give the audience hope for a better future. Sheila is an important character seeing that, in the beginning of the play, Priestly describes her as a young beautiful girl with a

How JB Priestley Creates A Moral Message In An Inspector Calls

1246 words - 5 pages How JB Priestley Creates a Moral Message in An Inspector Calls This play is much like a detective story as it includes a great number of 'ingredients' that a detective story would have, such as the fact there is a detective in the play,Inspector Goole.There is a victim, Eva Smith or Daisy Renton. There are many suspects. Money and relationships are also included in the play, especially

Which Characters Change Most Throughout 'an Inspector Calls' and Why Do the Change?

1147 words - 5 pages Which characters change the most through the course of the play and why do they change? This essay will be looking at which characters change and why throughout the play 'An Inspector Calls'. 'An Inspector Calls' was written in 1945 by J.B. Priestley and is set in the spring of 1912. The play is about the Birlings, an upper class family who are paid an unexpected visit from the mysterious Inspector Goole. They are thoroughly interrogated by

Differences and Similarities of the Characters of the Play " an Inspector Calls"

1945 words - 8 pages 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. I nclude:- * 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

What Do We Learn from the Stage Directions at the Beginning of ‘an Inspector Calls’?

1791 words - 8 pages What do we learn from the stage directions at the beginning of ‘An Inspector Calls’? ‘An Inspector Calls’ was written during the Second World War by playwright and dramatist John Boynton Priestley, and focuses on social injustice in the early 20th century. The play is set in 1912, Edwardian England, just before the war, which was a very difficult time for England. It was a period when there were many strikes, food shortages and great

An Inspector Calls

637 words - 3 pages room. As this case revolves around the issue of intoxication and consent, it should be noted that it is established in the case of R V Bree that drunken consent to sexual intercourse is nevertheless consent in the eyes of the law. This does not mean that if a person is unconscious through drink or drugs it is acceptable to have sex with that person but rather, where an intoxicated person is functioning and able to make conscious decisions at the

Related Papers

J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls Essay

837 words - 4 pages J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls I think that the main theme of An Inspector Calls is responsibility, because the Inspector's questioning reveals the irresponsible behaviour of each of the other characters in turn. There are a lot of lies told in this play. Every character lies except the maid. In with the lies there is also hypocrisy e.g. when Mrs

An Inspector Calls By J.B. Priestley

1060 words - 5 pages An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley Introduction: The play was written in 1945, but the play was set in 1912, before the 2nd World War when people talked confidently of the future, unaware of the disasters to come. Part 1: Mr. Birling is very self-cantered, doesn't like to be proved wrong and he thinks low-class people are not as good as him. Mr. Birling is very competitive and if Sheila marries Gerald

Author's Message In An Inspector Calls By J.B. Priestley

1113 words - 5 pages Author's Message in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley In this assignment I'm writing about the effect Inspector Goole has on the Birling's in the play 'An Inspector Calls' written by J. B. Priestley. Inspector Goole is a mystifying character he comes to the Birling's home without a notification, i.e. a phone call. He shows nothing to prove that he is an inspector, he just tells Edna his name, and we have no

The Character That Changes The Most In An Inspector Calls By J.B. Priestley

1523 words - 7 pages The Character that Changes the Most in An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley In the essay I will try to answer the question of, ‘Which character changes the most in An Inspector Calls?’ I will do this by; explaining the role played by the character in the play; showing how and why I think they change; focusing on the effect on the audience by the stage directions and settings; showing what messages Priestly manages to get