Throughout An Inspector Calls J.B. Priestly is setting many Left-wing ideas. Priestly presents the right wing ideology in a bad light and the left-wing ideology, as a good role in society. The play is set in 1912 which is prior to World War I. The play was written in 1946 and criticizes the Edwardian era. During the play Priestly looks back at the faults of the Edwardian era. Priestly does not make the audience feel superior over the characters by having knowledge that they didn’t. An example for this is that Mr.Birling believes that the Titanic is “Absolutely Unsinkable”. The audience are surely aware of the fact that this statement is untrue. Another point that Mr. Birling brings out is that “there isn’t a chance of war”. The audience, once again, are know that this is untrue since the war had already taken place.Order now
At this point of the play, the audience feel as if every point that Mr.Birling says is questionable. Priestly tempts the audience to be smug by having Mr.Birling say “these little war scares” but on the other hand this is a criticism carried out to Mr.Birling. Therefore there is an element of hypocrisy. Priestly portrays the inspector as a moral character which ensures the audience to appreciate his ideas as to Mr.Birling’s ideas. Priestly makes the audience feel as if the inspector is a trustworthy character since he gives him the role of hero as is he is trying to solve the murder mystery. So when Priestly brings out a point or an accusation against one of the characters, the audience are more likely to believe the inspector rather than Mr.Birling.
The Inspector believes that “we are all responsible for each other”. This places him in the position of a caring character which is vital for his role as an inspector. Priestly portrays Mr.Birling’s views of the world as incorrect and makes him look foolish. The audience then feel that if Mr.Birling’s predictions are incorrect then why should they trust his right-wing view of the world? This certifies that the play is biased and is very supportive towards Left-Wing views. This specific tactics that Priestly uses is very foolish to right-wing views. Mr.Birling is portrayed as ignorant and a bad judge. Mr.Birling quotes that “the way some of these cranks talk right now; you’d think everybody has to look aster everybody else”. In this quote Priestly comments on how some playwrights are very left-wing and includes himself considering he is left-wing.
The play was first performed in communist Russia. This gives the idea that Priestly was worried whether his play would acquire a large audience anywhere else since Russia were strongly left-wing. This suggests that Priestly was aware of the fact that his play was too biased and was too scared to show it to people in case they reacted in a bad manner.
Towards the end of the play the inspector’s final speech includes him threatening the Birling household that “if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish. The inspector includes a very harsh metaphor tot threaten the Birlings by telling them that is they do not take on left-wing values, cruel thing will overtake the Birling household. The fact that the inspector uses this harsh metaphor tot threaten the Birlings, he includes that they will be taught in fire and blood and anguish. The reason why this accusation might be harsh is due to the suffrage that the audience have just gone through during the Second World War which indeed included blood and anguish. This remark would have ensured the audience to take it to heart.
The inspector imposes the threat of hell when talking with the Birlings. This is an unfair comment to use as he is being unfair to the characters as well as the audience since they might be involved with different religious values. He also connects religion and politics together and uses it as a threat which is extremely unfair since the two topics are completely different. Arthur Birling often seems to be happy with his family and business without a simple care for the working class. This is shown when he says “just because the miners came out on strike, there’s a lot of wild talk about possible labour trouble in the near future. Don’t worry”. This remark shows the lack of care he has for his workers and that he only worries about his family’s well being.
Throughout the play J.B Priestly points out right-wing vices of the Birlings. Arthur Birling is shown to be conceited since he looks down at the lowers classes. Sibyl Birling is referred to as a snob. We see in Act one Sibyl is “her husband’s social superior”. She is more likely to look down on others to. She gives a negative attitude towards Sheila because of her social status and dismisses her when she implies for financial help. When Sheila applied to the committee she used a false name which was ‘Birling’. When Eva Smith used Mrs.Birling’s name she was very offended because she didn’t think someone was worthy of associating herself with Mrs. Birling.