To What Extent Can 'An Inspector Calls' Be Regarded As A Morality Play? 'An Inspector Calls' by J.B Priestley is set in a middle-class home in 1912. This play enables him to express his thoughts of how corrupt capitalism is, and effectively show the audience his views of how socialism is the way forward. Priestley wrote the play as an allegory which depicts capitalism against socialism, as this enforces his feelings of the social division, expressing how social issues manifest from capitalism. An Inspector Calls can be seen as a morality play, as it teaches a lesson, as well as conveying morality through Priestley's eyes, with the main aim being to show that capitalism has an effect on all members of society, in very different ways.
Therefore, ‘An Inspector Calls’ challenged his audience so that they thought about possible upcoming disasters which may lay ahead for them if they were not to learn from the past mistakes. He used characters to represent the social classes: Eva Smith was of the lower class, Arthur Birling and family are middle class citizens, and Gerald Croft was from the higher class. Arthur Birling is presented as a capitalist in the play; he thinks that social class is all that matters. Birling continuously tried to gain approval off of Gerald by mentioning his upcoming knighthood, and telling him that the port that they’re drinking is ‘exactly the same port your farther gets.’ From this, the audience see’s that Gerald has higher status, through Birling repeatedly trying to impress him. Another way in which Birling tried to make himself seem important by mentioning his connections with influential people – playing gold with the ‘Chief inspector.’ The Inspector is used within ‘An Inspector Calls’ is used to express the views and opinions of JB Priestley, as he contrasts/threatens Arthur Birling’s middle class values (the reputation of his company, his important connections).
Mr Birling is a vital part in how Priestly puts his message across to the nation. This is because Mr. Birling is pure capitalism, which shows how ignorant and bad capitalism really is. Mr Birling is an example of someone who has no sense what so ever of social responsibility or duty. Priestly wanted to use this play to show people that going back to how life was before World War 1 and 2 Is a bad move. He wants people to realize how much closer together the country was and how that going back to how it was with massive gaps within class difference was not a good thing.
They all also believe they cannot be blamed for the death of Eva Smith and try to deny any contact with her. Arthur Birling is the main man in the family; he is the head of the house, Father to Sheila and Eric and Husband to Sybil. He is a well off business man and boasts about his advantages. “I’m talking as a hard headed practical man of business”. This is showing that he knows about his privileges and knows when to use them to try and get him and his family to get him out of trouble with the inspector.
In An Inspector Calls, the central theme is responsibility. Priestley is interested in our personal responsibility for our own actions and our collective responsibility to society. The play explores the effect of class, age and sex on people's attitudes to responsibility, and shows how prejudice can prevent people from acting responsibly. Priestley believed in the idea of the Welfare state, where everyone was supported by each other. He was a supporter of socialism - his play promotes social responsibility and criticises the problems caused by the class divide.
In the text, he assumed the persona of a concerned economist, who ideally wants to see his nation grow and prosper. On the other hand, he presented the corrupt landlords and royalty as savages who needed to be compensated for if the nation had to move forward. He intentionally used an ironic and comical tone to mock these "savages" by bringing into light their characteristics of greed, pride and apathy towards others. One very good
Weakness, even perceived weakness, not strength, provokes aggression from the trade union. David Cameron is threatening to tear up strike laws to prevent militant trade unions holding Britain to ransom. Also, David Cameron is to go to war with the trade unions over new laws to make it easier for firms to sack workers while condemning next week's public sector strike over pensions. On the other hand, you could argue that David Cameron’s presentation of his ideologies and beliefs reflect a more moderate and caring conservatism. For example, when Margaret Thatcher was in power, the New Right Conservatives led to opposition of government intervention to the poor and that the reason why the
Simply put, the culture industry is a factory that mass-produces inadequate cultural goods. Through film, television, music, and magazines, the masses are brainwashed by their consumption. The products created by the culture industry might seem to differentiate people, however they force people to behave in accordance with their pre-determined and indexed level. The result of this is a general public that is easier to shape and manage. I believe this can be strongly tied into the Marxist ideas of commodity fetishism and false consciousness as the culture industry creates repressive and alienating effects through products and commodities.
Priestley uses the play to show his ideas and beliefs on community welfare and outdated principals, he does this in many ways to manipulate his audience against their normal thoughts and behaviour so by the end of the play they see why things need to change. Priestley presents his idea that the concept of self-help is outdated and uses contrast between characters to illustrate this. In an Inspector Calls there is a clear contrast between Mr Birling, a middle class man, and Inspector Goole. The play was set in 1912, where the middle class wouldn’t have respected Goole as he was of the working class and was seen to be below them. Whereas the play was written in 1946 and in 1946 the middle class would have respected the police more as it was seen as a fairly respectable job.
Everyone is a part of 'one body', the Inspector sees society as more important than individual interests. The views he is propounding are again like those of Priestley who wanted his socialist views put across to the audience. He adds a warning about what could happen op if, like some members of the family, we ignore our responsibility: 'and I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson,when the will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.' Probably he is thinking partly about the world war which they had just lived through, the result of the governments blindly pursuing 'national interest' at all cost. No doubt he was thinking too about the Russian revolution in which poor workers and peasants took over the state and exacted a bloody revenge against the aristocrats who had treated them so