Contrasts in "An Inspector Calls" Essay

910 WordsNov 28, 20124 Pages
In the play “An Inspector Calls”, J.B Priestly makes many different contrasts, all of which would relate to the problems in 1912 (Sexism, Ageism and Eliteism), these contrasts are shown in the play through the characters of the Birlings, Gerald and Eva Smith, all of which had varied opinions on the matters raised. One of the contrasts Priestly made was that of Capitalism and Socialism; the play is set in 1912, when there was conflict between the two views. Throughout the play Priestly conveys the messages of the two by creating characters in the play that have these views. Mr Birling is a prime example of this, as he portrays the stereotype of the upper-class business man and is seen as having capitalist views throughout the entirety of the play, which are the views that contrast with that of the two younger Birlings, as they are seen to have had more modern, socialist views than that of the rest of the family. Mr Birlings views also contrast with that of the Inspector – who Priestly, most probably, gave his own views, as Priestly's own views definitely leaned more towards that of a socialist, which is shown in the fact that he makes Mr Birling (a Capitalist) selfish and arrogant, whereas he makes Sheila and Eric seem regretful and more likeable than Mr Birling. We can definitely concur that Mr Birling is a capitalist by the evidence that in act one he lectures Eric and Gerald on how to be successful in business, and Capitalism means to look after oneself and one's way of life – which being successful involves. His Capitalism is reinforced by the fact that he calls himself a “Hard-headed business man” and repetitively stated that Capitalism would overcome Socialism. Priestly also makes many contrasts about the differences in the Class of the Birling's and that of Eva. The Birlings believe that because they are a higher class than Eva, that they are entitled to

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