An Inspector Calls’ has been described as a well- made play. Discuss the description of the play indicating how far you agree with it. ” John Boynton Priestley was born in Bradford Yorkshire on the thirteenth of September eighteen-ninety four. At the age of sixteen, he left school and decided to enter University for a scholarship. Priestley had a clear picture of what he wanted to qualify in. He wanted a qualification of being a great and successful writer. In the year nineteen- eleven, people who liked to read surrounded Priestley, but amongst them were no such professional writers.
All this persuaded Priestley to become prosperous. One Of Priestley’s first novels was ‘ The Good Companions’, and this book had become a best- seller, which made his writing career to become well and truly established. After this book, he went on writing his second novel, ‘Angel Pavement’, this book was published in 1930. ‘ An Inspector Calls’ was one of Priestley’s early books. This book was set in 1912 and is an amazing book, which contains one of the first plays to be reputable by Priestley. This is a play published at the end of the Edwardian era and on the onset of the World War.Order now
This marked a time of harmony and stability, which is included in the main themes of the play. J. B. Priestley sets the play in the fictional industrial city of Brumley, which reflects a type of escape from an unpleasant and uncertain future. The social and historical contexts of the play are equally important. Communal position was more important at that time than it is today. In the play we are never given a comprehensible set of political policies, but J. B Priestley does make the general point that all of us have a share in the responsibility for what happens in our society.
In the play we are left wondering whether our society today is likely to survive a similarly close examination, like with the characters in the play. Throughout the nineteenth century there was a dramatic expansion of industry, which gave many men a chance to face considerable fortunes. Many of these industrialists were granted titles for their wealth, which helped them to improve their social standing. In this play, J. B Priestley comprises a family with a very big name. The family comes from humble origins, who innocently don’t know what their unpredictable future is about to hold. The family initiated in the play are known as the Birlings.
Mr. Arthur Birling lives with his wife Mrs. Sybil Birling, and their two children, Sheila Birling, their oldest daughter, and Eric Birling, their youngest son. Mr. Birling is a respected man, as he was an Alderman and a Lord Mayor quite some time before the play took place. In those days, having a Lord Mayor indicated the importance of a town. Arthur Birling clearly felt that his activities in local politics made him enough of a figure to justify his knighthood. ” I was an Alderman for years- and Lord Mayor two years ago- and I’m still on the bench. ” Most of the action in the play happens in the Birlings dinning- room.
The play is set out into three acts, and each act carries the idea of trust and suspense. In the first act of the play Mr. And Mrs. Birling are celebrating the happiness of their daughter, Sheila, who will be getting engaged to Gerald Croft. ‘ An Inspector Calls’ is known as a well- made play, because each of the characters that take part in the play, are perfectly adapted to their given speech. Mr. Birling is seen as a throwback to the insensitive Victorian times, but unfortunately he is too typical of the greedy employers of that time. Arthur is a businessman, who thinks of himself very superior and rich.
Therefore he feels responsible to make a success out of his business. Even though this may mean to pay his employers much less than they truly deserve. Arthur is described as a ‘heavy- looking rather portentous man’. This may be because of his size that helps to give him a threatening appearance. The number of women who were poor and in need of help was suggested by the existence of the Brumley Women’s Charity Organisation with which Mrs. Birling is involved, though in the story, Mrs. Birling tends to lack her job. Mrs. Birling is described as a ‘ rather cold woman and her husband’s social superior’.
Her coldness makes her seem as if she is out of touch with what happens and what really matters. Sheila Birling is described as ‘ a pretty girl in her early twenties, very pleased with life and rather excited’. In the play Sheila is joining in with her family celebrating the happiness of the future couple, herself and Gerald Croft. The family are having a dinner party to rejoice the contentment of their daughter and their daughters imminent husband. In the beginning Sheila is really excited, whilst seeking all the attention from her family, and she is also aware of the exhilaration her engagement will bring her.
Towards the end when she finds out the true hidden reality of Gerald’s life, she foolishly returns the engagement ring to Gerald before he leaves the house, just incase he decides not to come back. Even though she has foolish and selfish reactions towards Gerald’s response to the inspector, she has the potential to change and accept that she should at least appreciate her fianci?? telling her and her family the truth. Unlike his sister, Eric Birling is rather awkward, ‘ not quite at ease, half shy, half assertive’. Eric does not seem to have his father’s approval, although his father tries to meet the family with all their needs.
Eric is seen as a very young boy, who tends to drink much more than the normal average a boy should drink. Though he is not a particularly pleasant character, we may feel that he has learnt a lesson from the major event that happened in the evening of celebration, he is sincerely ashamed of his behaviour and he shows to us that he is capable of changing for the better in the future. Gerald Croft is the young man who will be getting engaged to Sheila Birling, up until the future calamity announces the legitimacy of his past life, which was meant to be personal.
He is the son of the famous Sir George Croft. He is polite and tactful with Mr.and Mrs. Birling, and he has self- confidence with everyone around him no matter who they are. This is because when the inspector was asking him questions about the suicide of Eva Smith/ Daisy Renton, even though he kept quiet at first he did not hesitate to answer. Unlike Mr. Birling, Mrs. Birling and Eric. ‘ An Inspector Calls’ is a fast paced drama that consists of non- stop action and anticipation throughout all acts and scenes. Priestley presents this play to us with a sincerely felt and powerfully expressed social message. This is shown to us when comfortable family lifestyles, who have no worries what so ever, end up catastrophically.
The play shows us how wealthy people, no matter how rich they are, they will always be part of an independent community. This is shown to us when a so- called Inspector, identified as Inspector Goole, champions the cause of the poor, by trying to get the rich Birling family to accept the fact that all people share a common humanity. Plays are performed, and the language used in the play tells us about the action that should be taking place. When reading a play we should be able to see the mood of the characters at the particular time.
The language used reveals the character and sometimes there are times when what the characters says is in conflict with what the character does. In the play many of the characters reflect the hypocrisy which Priestley was condemning. In the play the inspector is described as, ‘ creating an impression of massiveness, solidity and purposefulness. ‘ This is probably because the inspector grows as the stories of the characters are revealed. He remains solid and integral as each of them breaks down, and nothing the others do or say can distract him from his purpose.